MANTECA (CBS13) – Support is pouring out for the family of a man shot and killed by a police officer. The support comes after dash cam video of the shooting was released last week.
The video of Ernest Manuel Duenez’s death quickly went viral, and overnight, his family found support from strangers in their fight for justice.
“We have people sending us comments from the UK, all over the world,” said Reyna Duenez.
Since Ernest’s death last summer, his family stood in front of the Manteca Police Department nearly every Sunday, calling for an investigation into the officer who killed him.
“We’re going to keep fighting. They’re not going to get rid of us,” said Reyna.
Many times only a few family members stood in protest, then a couple of days ago, the family’s attorney posted the dash cam video on YouTube after the district attorney ruled the shooting was justified.
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO
“I thought it was a horrible, brutal homicide,” supporter Jose Lopez said.
On Sunday, some who watched the video joined the Duenez family in their weekly protest.
“I want to see justice for the family of Ernest Duenez,” said Lopez.
“You watch the video, it don’t look justified to me,” supporter Ray Barajas said. “It don’t look justified to anybody out here.”
Investigators say Ernest, a parolee at large, was armed with a knife. In the video Officer John Moody can be seen putting his gun away, but when Ernest appears to reach forward, that’s when Moody starts to shoot.
However, Ernest’s family insists he didn’t carry a knife.
“Justice for Ernest, jail for Moody,” the protestors chanted.
Now they say they’re finding strength in numbers to fight for justice.
“We’re prepared to fight forever if we have to, to get justice,” said Reyna.
The family filed a federal lawsuit against the Manteca Police Department and Moody.