California sergeant fatally shot drunk man who refused to show hands: video

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A California sheriff’s sergeant fatally shot a man during a traffic stop after he refused to show his hands and kept walking toward the officer, bodycam video shows.

The graphic footage, released Wednesday by the Napa County Sheriff’s Office, shows Sgt. David Ackman ordering the driver, Juan Adrian Garcia, at gunpoint to “turn around” after pulling him over for driving with his headlights off on Oct. 5.

Garcia — a Mexican national whose blood alcohol level was determined to be more than four times the legal limit — tossed his cellphone out of his car “immediately after stopping,” sheriff officials said.

Garcia then advanced toward Ackman while keeping one hand tucked behind his back, video shows, prompting the officer to repeatedly tell him to stop before firing six shots, striking Garcia five times in the torso and once in the leg.

Garcia, 47, who lived in Napa, later died at a hospital. Bloodwork done at the facility revealed his blood-alcohol level to be .338, the Napa Valley Register reported.

Investigators also later determined Garcia did not have a weapon at the time, sheriff officials said.

Ackman, a 21-year department veteran, believed he was facing a “deadly threat” when he opened fire, Capt. Cullen Todd told reporters at a press conference Wednesday, KPIX reported.

“At no time did Sgt. Ackman believe Mr. Garcia did not have a deadly threat,” Todd said, adding that a Taser would not be the “right tool” to use during an encounter during which the officer felt his life was in danger.

An attorney for Garcia saw the footage along with the man’s family and a representative from the Mexican Consulate at the sheriff’s office prior to its release, the station reported.

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The Napa County Sheriff’s Office has released bodycam footage showing the fatal shooting of a man during a traffic stop.

Napa County Sheriff’s Office

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Napa County Sheriff’s Office

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Napa County Sheriff’s Office

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Napa County Sheriff’s Office

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Napa County Sheriff’s Office

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Napa County Sheriff’s Office

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Garcia worked as a line cook at a restaurant in Napa and had previously been arrested for driving drunk at least three times, including as recently as last year, according to the Napa Valley Register.

Sheriff officials said Garcia understood English, including the repeated commands Sgt. Ackman gave him. The shooting remains under investigation by the Napa County Major Crimes Task Force, Sheriff John Robertson said Wednesday.

Ackman, meanwhile, has been placed on administrative leave as the probe, which could take up to eight months, is ongoing, sheriff officials said.

“We have to do a thorough and transparent investigation, and those take time,” Robertson said. “We will not be held to some false timeline.”

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