By Amanda Mayberry
Early Monday morning Steven Rodriguez, 22, was gunned down, many are saying unjustly, by Monterey Park police officers. The shooting took place outside of Carl’s Jr. located across the street from campus at the busy intersection of Cesar E. Chavez and Atlantic.
Rodriguez was shot about ten times at point blank range by police officers while students as well as employees and customers from the restaurant and other surrounding businesses watched in horror and disbelief. Witnesses stood only a few feet away as officers killed Rodriguez almost cruelly right before their eyes.
Not long after the incident, a video of the murder taken by an eyewitness from the Shell gas station located right next to the Carl’s Jr. surfaced online and raised many questions among citizens. Though Rodriguez was apparently violent and can be seen resisting arrest, one question appears to be on everyone’s mind. Did he have to die?
Though it could be argued that police were doing their job and merely defending themselves from the victim, as the man did raise his weapon at a police officer in an undeniably threatening way, many are saying that the ten bullets fired by police were excessive.
The video clearly shows the man being shot five times in the chest from less than three feet away, and then five more times in what appears to be his back. The video clearly shows the first police officer, the one who deployed the Taser, dropping the Taser and shooting the victim the additional five times.
Was this necessary or even safe? One of the bullets shot by this police officer ended up in a window of Tommy’s Restaurant. It seemed like the officer could not control himself, or even aim his weapon. This bullet could have easily injured an innocent bystander and caused even more trouble for the police department.
After Rodriguez was down, police officers then proceeded to take belongings from his person, and even handcuffed him, as he lay limp, face down on the freshly wet pavement in the rain. You can’t help but wonder why police felt the need to handcuff a now unarmed and presumably dead man.
Perhaps they were trying to somehow hide the fact that they had just brutally and unnecessarily murdered a man despite the fact there was clearly so many witnesses. Or maybe they were attempting to deceive onlookers into thinking the man was not dead even though he had just been shot, five times in the chest.
Maybe those are some far fetched theories to some, but we can at least agree that there was no need for officers to handcuff the man after just having shot him ten times. It was almost inhuman and definitely unnecessary to say the least.
ELAC students kept passing by, all asking the same question “Why couldn’t they have shot him in the leg or something? They didn’t have to kill him.” Witnesses and other passersby agreed.
As people came and went from the scene throughout the day inquiring about the incident, their feelings were unanimous as they were shocked and appalled and even a bit angry upon hearing of what had happened only a few hours earlier.
Once again the cops have gone too far, using excessive and unnecessary force in their attempts to subdue suspects and alleged criminals.
Granted it is a police officers duty to “protect and serve” but at what cost? Is it ever really right to kill another human being? Or is it only right when deemed so by authority figures and other public officials with much greater power than us mere civilians?
Consider all previous cases of police brutality and ask yourselves the question: have police gone too far once again? Always.