Insufficient Evidence Clears Ventura Police Officer in Shooting

By Daniel Gelman

city of ventura_2The office of Ventura County District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced on Monday, March 17, that they had completed their investigation of a police involved shooting in Ventura  from 2011.

According to a report by the D.A.’s office, Jesus Farias, a parolee and gang member fled to Ventura from National City near San Diego after allegedly shooting a man on June 27, 2011. National City police used leads to track him to a home in Ventura. When local police brought a search warrant to the house at 5 a.m. on June 29, 2011, Farias took off running from a rear sliding glass door to the backyard of the home. Then he ran back toward the house. Ventura police officers Craig Kelly and Quinn Redeker identified themselves and told him to stop or he would be shot. When he didn’t, Officer Kelly shot him one time in the right side of his back.

The conclusion announced Monday was that:

“A reasonable police officer would have been justified in shooting murder suspect Jesus Farias to prevent the escape of a violent criminal, to protect unsuspecting officers, and to prevent Farias from re-entering the home and causing harm to the residents.”

“There is insufficient evidence to either justify this shooting or to charge Officer Kelly with a crime.”

Other recent local police involved shootings include one in November 2011 by an officer in Port Hueneme, one in January 2012 by a Ventura County Senior Deputy Sheriff, one in November 2010 by a Simi Valley police officer, and one in May 2011 by an officer in Ventura.

According to the Star News of Chula Vista/National City, Farias pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in July 2012, so a murder charge was dropped. He got 11 years for manslaughter, 10 years for gun use, and one year for having a prior felony conviction. Farias was 31 at the time of his sentencing. He shot a 56 year old man the year before. According to the Star News, they knew each other. The man accused Farias of theft, which made him angry and led to the shooting. Farias was ordered by the court to pay $15 thousand dollars in funeral charges and fines.

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Daniel Gelman has been a Reporter/Writer for several years, specializing in News, Business, Feature, and Op-Ed.

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