Seal Beach police release video of officer shooting man in January
By Fernando Haro Garcia,2023-03-18
An Irvine man that was fatally shot by Seal Beach police two months ago had pulled out a gun moments after refusing to comply with commands and being tased by officers, a newly released video of the incident shows.
In accordance with state law, the Seal Beach Police Department released roughly three minutes of video footage from a police officer’s body-worn camera, as well as excerpts of a 911 call prior to the shooting.
Officers were called at around 9:36 p.m. to the 100 block of Old Ranch Road on Jan. 16, following a report about a suspicious person in front a of residence, according to the Seal Beach Police Department.
There, officers located Michael Emch Jr. within the fenced-off patio area of one of the homes.
In the video released Friday by the SBPD, the person who called the police to the home identified Emch as her ex-partner whom she had a restraining order against. Police later confirmed Emch was in violation of a restraining order at the time of the officer-involved shooting.
Emch is seen in the video telling officers at the time that he was asked to go over to the home to pick up money that was owed to him, but the officer explains to him that the person he was there to see told police she wasn’t expecting anybody.
As Emch exits the patio, the officer points his gun at him and tells him to put his hands up, but Emch refuses, and says he’ll just leave and “go the other way.”
When the officer tells him he’s not allowed to leave, Emch asks for a staff sergeant, but the officer ignores him and tells him to sit down.
Instead of sitting down, Emch turns his back to the officer, holding his left hand up, and his right hand in his pocket, and then walks back into the patio.
But an off-camera officer Tased Emch before he could fully cross the patio door threshold.
“What’s that?” the other officer asked as Emch reached into his pocket and appeared to pull out a gun, which police later said was loaded.
That’s when the officers fired more than a dozen times at Emch; one officer is seen on footage reloading his magazine after the shooting.
“Finish me off,” Emch tells the officers as he lies motionless on the ground, moments after screaming and writhing in pain.
At the scene, police seized a gun, a pointed metal weapon, and three knives from Emch. A loaded magazine was also seized from Emch after he was transported to a hospital, where he later died.
“An officer-involved shooting is a tragic event for everyone; for our officers, for our community and for the family members of those involved,” said Seal Beach Chief of Police Michael Henderson.
Henderson said the investigation into the shooting is still ongoing and could take up to a year to decide whether officers acted within the department’s policy and within California law.
“With that in mind, we withhold judgment and do not draw any conclusions … until after all the facts are known and the investigations are complete,” Henderson said.
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