Bodycam Video Shows Police Shooting That Left Culver City Man Dead
February 2, 2023
Culver City police this week released body camera footage showing events before officers shot an unarmed man diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in the back last December, including audio recordings of his estranged wife telling police he was “armed and dangerous.”
In the footage, local officers are seen chasing after Guillermo Medina and yelling, “Stop running. You’re going to get shot!” and then saying to each other that Medina was reaching into his waistband: “Gun in hand! gun in hand!”
One officer is then heard saying “cell phone” as shots ring out and Medina falls to the ground, dropping a black phone.
In a statement, the Culver City Police Department said none of the officers involved reported hearing the officer say it might be a cell phone in Medina’s hand.
In recordings of Medina’s wife speaking to a dispatcher and later to an officer who stayed with her after Guillermo Medina fled her apartment building that night, Adriana Medina described her husband as “dangerous,” a gang member and said, “He’s got a gun and I’m scared.” She also told the officer Medina had threatened to kill her and told her he had considered killing himself in a shootout.
The recordings apparently contradict what she and her attorney told reporters last Tuesday at a press conference to announce they were filing a civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Dec. 18 fatal shooting in Culver City
Adriana Medina told reporters she purposely avoided calling 911 and dialed the main number of the police station when her husband showed up at her apartment complex, pounding on windows. She said she hoped for a mental health intervention because her husband hadn’t taken his medication for his schizophrenia in a couple of weeks.
She told police she did not believe her husband was going to hurt anyone, according to the lawsuit.
Attorney V. James DeSimone echoed that, saying “There was no report that he was threatening her with a handgun. She never saw a gun.”
DeSimone presented a surveillance video from a building that showed Medina loping up to a utility pole and then dropping to his knees and rolling onto his back. Officers approached slowly to handcuff him. It appeared to take several minutes before first aid was rendered.
“I did not intentionally mislead,” DeSimone said last Thursday when reached by The Associated Press for comment on the newly released recordings. He said his firm did its best to accurately convey what the client told them and she “clearly didn’t recall everything she told the police.”
In the recordings, Adriana Medina tells police her husband was outside her apartment waving around a gun and pounding on windows. Body camera footage then shows him ignoring police commands to come out of the complex and put his hands up. Instead, he ran and got into his car. Police pursue him through the streets of Los Angeles for nearly an hour as he rams a car at an intersection and then crashes into a curb before getting out and running on foot.
Culver City officers later found a replica handgun in his crashed vehicle, police said.
The shooting is being investigated by the state attorney general’s office.