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Critical Incident Community Briefing – Officer Involved Shooting 20-24839

On Sunday, May 3, 2020 at approximately 9:27 PM, Fullerton Police Corporal Matthew Green, and Officer Rene Valdes, responded to assist an officer who was attempting to detain two males who appeared to be involved in an altercation in the 2200 block of E. Commonwealth Ave. One of the males was armed with a stick, and the other male, later identified as Jesus Estrada Leon (26, Fullerton), was armed with a large “butcher” type knife. It was later determined that both males were family members, and Mr. Leon was attempting to carjack the vehicle from his relative. Officers attempted to de-escalate the situation; however after speaking to Mr. Leon for several minutes, Mr. Leon only became more agitated and aggressive in his actions. As you will see in the video, officers initially utilized two less lethal bean bag rounds in an attempt to stop Mr. Leon’s advance; however, after being hit with the less lethal bean bag rounds, Mr. Leon began to advance on a separate group of officers who were attempting to detain his relative. This action resulted in an Officer Involved Shooting (OIS). Mr. Leon later passed away at area hospital.

In an effort to be transparent with the community that we serve, the Fullerton Police Department is releasing its third Critical Incident Community Briefing, which will provide details to the community about the incident, as we know them today. This includes Body Worn Camera (BWC) video footage from the incident itself, still photos, and police radio traffic.

Please keep in mind this is an initial review, and our understanding of this incident could possibly change as additional evidence is collected, analyzed, and reviewed. The Fullerton Police Department also does not draw any conclusions as to whether or not our officers acted within our department policy, and the law, until all the facts are known, and the independent investigation by the Orange County District Attorney is complete.

With the July 1, 2019 implementation of California Assembly Bill 748, California police agencies are required to release any relevant video or audio pertaining to the critical incident within 45 days. The California State Legislature allows for this 45 day release timeframe because there is an understanding that critical incidents are often complex, sensitive investigations, and it takes time to complete them in a thorough manner.

As a reminder, while body worn cameras are an excellent investigative tool, they do not always show what the officers may have seen, and vice versa, the officers don’t always see and experience what the body camera footage shows. We ask that the community keep this in mind when viewing these videos.

Fullerton Police Chief Robert Dunn met with Mr. Leon’s family yesterday and provided them with an opportunity to view this Critical Incident Community Briefing prior to its release.

Please be advised, the images and content of this Critical Incident Community Briefing are graphic, and viewer discretion is advised.

The Critical Incident Community Briefing, which is roughly 18-minutes in length, can be found by clicking the link below:

Critical Incident Community Briefing 20-24839 Video Link

( View PDF )

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