UPDATE, SEPT. 23, 3:22 P.M.: The man shot dead by Huntington Beach police was 27-year-old Dillan Tabares, the Weekly has learned. He previously attended Marina High School where the shooting happened across the street from. Tabares also served in the United States Navy as an information systems technician and lived in Norfolk, Virgina. He fell on hard times in 2012 according to a Facebook post where he wrote about losing his security clearance in the Navy after testing positive for marijuana and that he self-medicated for depression.
His mother is planning to host a vigil tonight at 8 p.m. at the 7-Eleven where the shooting happened for her deceased son and the officer. She’s encouraging people to bring candles and a prayer. ORIGINAL POST, SEPT., 23, 1:44 P.M.: The fatal police shooting of a young man in front of a 7-Eleven in Huntington Beach yesterday caused a national firestorm with cellphone video capturing the barrage of bullets. Huntington Beach police contended that previous footage uploaded on Twitter by a bystander didn’t tell the full tale and reiterated that point in a new statement released yesterday on social media.
“As the officer began to talk to the subject, a verbal confrontation began, and the subject refused to listen to any commands given by the officer,” read a statement by Huntington Beach PD. “The suspect violently attacked and assaulted the officer, and a struggle over the officer’s gun belt ensued. The videos we have seen posted are small portions of a violent confrontation, and should not be taken out of context.”
And just like magic this morning, another video shot from a parked car in front of the 7-Eleven shows a more complete picture of what happened.
The Blue Lives Matter website published the new video this morning, claiming that the other bystander footage may have been selectively deleted on Twitter from the man who filmed it. “It appears that @Cali_Funk1 then removed the first video that showed what led up to the fight,” the pro-cop blog wrote. “His reasoning for removing the first video may be a move to edit the video to make the shooting appear to be unjustified, but copies of the original video had already been made.”
But @Cali_Funk1 told the Weekly he gave both videos to OC Hawk News, including the first clip recorded by his friend (who was also on the scene) before Huntington Beach police advised him not to publish anything online.
“[Blue Lives Matter] can say what they want,” he says. “I pushed my recorder for 17 seconds and then I stopped. What was there to hide?” The bystander also gave both videos to the police off his phone.
The Weekly reviewed the new, leaked footage filmed by the unknown videotaper last night (how it got leaked to a pro-cop website that didn’t have problems with throwing insinuations around is known only to HBPD and Blue Lives Matter). While it corroborates key portions of police statements, it leaves other questions unanswered. The video doesn’t show why the cop approached the young man, whose identity is still unknown, in the first place. But the bystander whose videos went viral says he saw the policeman get out of his patrol car and follow the youth to 7-Eleven. The man ignored police commands and turned around to punch the officer; an incident not caught on any available film.
The new footage from inside the car starts rolling when the officer points his Taser at the rapidly approaching man while radioing for help. “Have a seat,” he says after shooting his Taser darts at him; the electric charges are audible. Where the darts struck is unclear, but Taser International cautions against tasing the chest area due to cardiac complications that can prove deadly. Either way, the weapon failed to stop the advance. The man continued approaching the officer in a threatening manner and threw another punch.
The officer responded by putting the man in a headlock and wrestled him to the ground. He punched him three times before saying “Let go of my gun.” The man managed to pluck an unknown object from the other side of the officer’s utility belt and the shooting happened shortly afterward without any police command to drop what was in his hand. According to the bystander who shot the viral video, an errant bullet shattered a window and grazed a 7-Eleven worker, badly bruising her arm.
“I don’t think he should have unloaded on the guy because even I could tell he didn’t have a weapon,” he says. But the new video changes his perspectives by showing the Tasing and fight he didn’t see while turning the corner towards to convenience store. “I thought it was excessive, but I can understand why he was going after the guy.”
But don’t look for the Huntington Beach Police Department to comment any further on the matter, even with the new video. “It is our policy that the Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigates all of our officer involved shootings,” the department’s statement reads, “and we will not make further comments until after their investigation has been completed.”
Gabriel San Román is from Anacrime. He’s a journalist, subversive historian and the tallest Mexican in OC. He also once stood falsely accused of writing articles on Turkish politics in exchange for free food from DönerG’s!