Who was Daverion Kinard? Unarmed robbery suspect shot dead by California cop in bodycam video

Fontana PD release boydcam footage showing shocking killing on unarmed man, after settling with family for $1m earlier in August


                            Who was Daverion Kinard? Unarmed robbery suspect shot dead by California cop in bodycam video
Bodycam footage seconds before Daverion Deauntre Kinard was shot by Fontana PD (Fontana PD/YouTube)

FONTANA< CALIFORNIA: The Fontana Police Department in California has released bodycam footage of a deadly shooting from February. In the footage, an officer can be seen fatally shooting Daverion Deauntre Kinard in a bathroom, even though he was unarmed. The footage was released weeks after the PD settled with Kinard's family for $1m after they filed a lawsuit in March. The footage was released despite Kinard's family requesting it not be made public. 

Kinard's brutal shooting in Southern California is just the latest example of police brutality, which has continued to take place despite public pressure campaigns. All over the US, police officers have been caught attacking the very people they are supposed to protect. In late July, we reported on the video of an Atlanta cop kicking a mentally ill woman who spat on him. Days before that, a video went viral showing a Wisconsin cop planting drugs in a Black man's car. In June, we reported on the charges against Colorado cop Kenneth Amick, who put a man in an illegal chokehold during an arrest.

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As of August 16, 657 people have been shot and killed by police forces around the country in 2021. Statistics from 2020 show Black people make up 28% of the victims, despite being only around 13% of the population. On February 13, Kinard was one of the 657 people when he was shot by the Fontana PD over a suspected robbery. Here's everything we know about Kinard, and the case since.

Security footage shows Daverion Deauntre Kinard removing a window screen. (Fontana PD/YouTube)

 

Who was Daverion Deauntre Kinard?

The 28-year-old was due to turn 29 on February 14, but unfortunately, he never got to celebrate. Little is known about Kinard, we couldn't find a public Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter account in his name. We do know he had one previous conviction for burglary and was shot while the police were investigating a possible second. At the time of the shooting, Kinard was on Post Release Community Supervision over his conviction. 

On February 13, a resident called 911 after a person was seen walking around a home, and removing the screen from a window. He then went inside, as recorded by the person's Ring security camera. When police arrived, they found the suspect inside the house, leading him to flee the scene. The police managed to chase him down to a construction site, where he was sitting on a portable toilet. The suspect, later identified as Kinard was shot by officer Johnny Tuitavake, when he was spotted with a metallic object in his hand. The object was later identified as a lighter.

Video shows Daverion Deauntre Kinard holding a metallic object, with narration from Fontana PD Chief Billy Green. (Fontana PD/YouTube)

 

In March, Kinard's family sued the Fontana PD, leading to a $1m settlement. According to The SB Sun, "The settlement prohibits the city and the parents from commenting on the agreement beyond its terms. Also, neither side is allowed to make “disparaging” comments about the other." Initially, the police refused to release the bodycam footage citing ongoing investigations. The family too requested the footage be kept private. "the family recognizes the public and the media's interest in obtaining and viewing the footage but would appreciate the family's desire that the footage remain private in order to protect the dignity of Daverion," they said in a statement

Despite those requests, the footage was made available for the public in August narrated by Chief Billy Green. While Green did not provide further comments, he said the footage was being released to help the department "build and maintain trust with the community." The Fontana PD released the footage in order to comply with California laws, which require all footage from deadly shootings to be made public within 45 days of the incident. An investigation into the incident is still ongoing, and Tuitavake remains on the force. 

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