Family disputes shooting video: 'something rotten in Bakersfield'

Family disputes shooting video: 'something rotten in Bakersfield' »Play Video
David Lee "Deacon" Turner is seen in this undated photo provided by his daughter, Jerrica Cor-Dova. Turner, who played in the NFL from 1978 to 1980, was shot and killed July 10, 2011, during a confrontation with Kern County deputies outside an Bakersfield convenience store.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The family of former football player David "Deacon" Turner said there is more video of the night when he was shot and killed by a Kern County deputy.

They won't give out details, yet, but insist the additional video is complete, unlike the security video released by the sheriff's department Monday. That video, released in support of the department's ruling that the shooting was justified and in self-defense, has a 5-second gap during the most critical moments.

Watch the uncut surveillance video released by the sheriff's office >>

"It did not show any seconds missing, and that's all I'm willing to say at this time," daughter Jerrica Cor-Dova said Tuesday afternoon of the "other" video.

Cor-Dova indicated she had seen the other video but said she didn't want to disclose how or where she saw it.

She was flanked by the lawyer representing the Turner family. Attorney Gerson Horn said he plans to file a federal lawsuit against Kern County and also said he's sure there is more video of the incident.

"We believe there is additional video available, and we intend to pursue that," Horn told Eyewitness News.

He said the video could be from the Fastrip convenience store where the confrontation happened or from other witnesses who were on the scene. Horn said he had not personally seen it.

"People have seen additional video," he said. "Family members and one of our investigators."

Sheriff Donny Youngblood said he doesn't know of any other video, and if the family does have some, he said they should bring it forward.

"They should have brought it forward so that we could have used it during the shooting review board," Youngblood told Eyewitness News Tuesday afternoon. "If that video, this hypothetical video they're talking about, shows that something different occurred, and they're not giving it to me, shame on them, and it's all about the money with them."

Turner, 56, was shot early July 10 in front of the Fastrip at Niles and Mt. Vernon. Deputies were checking on reports of adults buying alcohol for kids. Officers said Turner came out of the store with beer cans in a bag and with two teenagers. Officers said they started to question Turner, but he then walked off.

Deputies said they chased him to the street, and one deputy hit Turner in the leg with a baton. Then officers said Turner hit the deputy on the head with a bag containing two large beer cans. That deputy went into a defensive position and reportedly pulled his gun.

Officers said the deputy's partner then saw Turner raise the bag again "like a tomahawk." That's when the deputy's partner fired twice.

Youngblood said the entire incident lasted 5 seconds, and officers have the right to use deadly force to protect themselves, other citizens, or another officer from death or serious injury.

He said the store's security cameras are motion-activated, and they shut themselves down at the critical moments.

The Turner family attorney said that account makes no sense.

"If that didn't lead you to believe that there is something rotten in Bakersfield, then nothing will," he said.

Horn said the officers were not acting within the law.

"There was no justification to stop him, there was no justification to search him, there was no justification to kill him," Horn said. "We have people with badges and guns out there who are supposed to enforce the law, not to be the law unto themselves."

Youngblood insists his officers' actions were within department policy and state and federal law, and that's what the review board found on Monday.

"The general public out there knows that," Youngblood said. "I do what's right in my heart, and at the end of the day it will be the right thing."

Horn said he'll file a federal lawsuit against Kern County within two weeks alleging wrongful death, civil rights violations and probably negligent infliction of emotional distress. He said Turner's teenage son saw his father shot to death during the incident.

"Mr. Turner was guilty of no crime. He was searched unreasonably without provocation, while his back was turned and shot like a dog in the street," Horn said.

Youngblood responded by saying the attorney had a "pretty callous approach to the death."

The sheriff said he's not surprised at word of a lawsuit, that's not unusual after an officer-involved shooting. He said it's hard for families to believe things happened the way law enforcement said they did.

"If it was my son, I wouldn't want to believe it either," Youngblood said.

The attorney said he also plans to go to the Department of Justice with complaints about the incident.

"This was an unprovoked, unjustified killing of a man who had eight children," Horn said. "And who was a legend in Bakersfield."