By: Tim Houchen
September 26, 2020 —
A 42-year-old homeless Black man, was shot and killed during a scuffle with Orange County Sheriff’s Deputies outside a San Clemente hotel on Wednesday, Sept. 23.
The shooting occurred after about 1:12 p.m. when two deputies with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s homeless outreach team initiated contact with the man who was later identified as, Kurt Andras Reinhold whose last known address was in Los Angeles County, reached for a deputy’s gun before he was shot. Two gunshots were fired by one deputy during the incident according to Sgt. Dennis Breckner.
After making contact, a physical altercation ensued wherein deputies wrestled the individual to the ground, eventually leading to the shooting, he explained. At this time in the investigation, Breckner couldn’t confirm whether the man was a homeless individual.
“Shortly after they contacted him, a deputy-involved shooting occurred and deputies immediately gave life saving measures,” Breckner said. “Unfortunately, the male is deceased at the scene.”
Breckner said authorities didn’t know the details of what led up to the altercation.
“We don’t know the details of what led up to it and what exactly occurred immediately prior to the physical altercation,” Breckner said when asked whether the man was being arrested. “We just know that deputies had put out a radio request that they contacted a subject and needed additional units.”
Based on surveillance video footage from a nearby business, authorities believe the man attempted to gain control of a deputy’s firearm, Breckner said.
According to Breckner, the video didn’t show the altercation in its entirety, but it showed “what we believe and see is that there does appear to be an attempt to gain control of the deputy’s weapon.”
Nearly 80 people gathered Thursday morning, Sept. 24, in San Clemente, some calling for the arrest and firing of two Orange County sheriff’s deputies involved in the shooting of the homeless black man.
Demonstrators held up signs, stating: “Stop killing black people” and “Blue lives do not exist. Being a cop is a choice, the color of your skin is not.”
Sheriff Don Barnes released a statement via social media where he asked that people “reserve judgment” until the Orange County District Attorney’s Office completed its investigation.
“We will protect the First Amendment rights of those who want to publicly mourn Mr. Reinhold,” Barnes statement reads.
The protesters marched from their meeting-up spot at South El Camino Real and East Avenida Cornelio to the nearby Hotel Miramar.
At around noon Thursday, two hours into the demonstration, about 20 motorcycle officers and six squad cars showed up.
Deputies, through a bullhorn, urged the demonstrators to get out of the street while protesters answered with chants of “No justice, no peace!”
Four people were taken into custody for disorderly conduct, and one was arrested for vandalism, Sheriff’s authorities later said.
The rally was largely peaceful, though at times the group was heckled by some people backing Blue Lives Matter.
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A second demonstration was held later in the night outside of the old city hall building on Avenida Presidio. From there, the protesters marched down to the Hotel Miramar, where the shooting occurred, to hold a vigil for Reinhold.
To the crowd who initially gathered at old city hall, Mission Viejo resident Ivette Boyzo said they gathered to pay their respects and mourn. The demonstration was to emphasize that Black lives matter, Boyzo said. The crowd chanted “No justice, no peace, no racist police.”
Following Thursday morning’s protest, the San Clemente City Council held an emergency meeting to declare a local emergency and institute a curfew ahead of Thursday evening’s demonstration outside old city hall.
The curfew was in effect from 9 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday. The council convened another special meeting late Friday afternoon when they voted not to extend the curfew into the weekend.
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