California Police Officer Cleared of Criminal Wrongdoing After Fatally Shooting Homeless Black Man

Kurt Reinhold, 42, was killed during a struggle with two Orange County Sheriff’s Department deputies in San Celmente on Wednesday

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has determined that an Orange County sheriff’s deputy was justified in shooting and killing a homeless Black man who deputies stopped on suspicion of jaywalking in San Clemente.

DA officials cleared Deputy Eduardo Duran of criminal wrongdoing in the Sept. 23, 2020, killing of 42-year-old Kurt Andreas Reinhold, according to a letter to Sheriff Don Barnes publicly released Friday outlining the results of an investigation into the fatal shooting that led to community protests in San Clemente.

DA’s Office officials, as well as Sheriff’s Department leaders, say Reinhold was reaching for a deputy’s gun while struggling with Duran and his partner.

“Based on the totality of all the available evidence, it is clear that Deputy Duran was justified in believing Reinhold posed a significant threat of death or serious injury to his partner, himself and the surrounding civilians,” wrote Steve McGreevy, an assistant district attorney and head of the office’s homicide unit.

Neil Gehlawat, one of the attorneys representing Reinhold’s family, said the DA’s Office report is “disappointing but not surprising.” He described the police stop as “racially motivated,” saying the deputies had no reason to detain Reinhold in the first place.

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SOURCE: The Mercury News, Sean Emery