On the night of Aug. 21, 2021, Juan Olvera-Preciado, 59, had committed no crime, was not a suspect in any crime and harmed no one. These facts, however, were no defense against government-sponsored bullets being fired into his body, killing him. On the night he died, Olivera-Preciado was sitting in a parked car, nowhere near the Guadalupe police officer who killed him.
Now, over a year after the shooting, we are learning that the officer who killed Olvera-Preciado, Officer Miguel Jaimes, will face no consequences.
Though Jaimes did not intend to kill Olvera-Preciado that fateful night, it was his reckless actions and attempted execution of an unarmed man that led to an innocent man’s death. Despite these facts, the officer will not even receive so much as a slap on the wrist.
On the night Jaimes killed Olvera-Preciado, police were looking for a man suspected of setting a small fire who had active warrants out for his arrest. When officers spotted that suspect, a brief foot chase ensued as Jaimes began running after him.
When the chase came to a stop, the suspect removed his hands from his hoodie and Jaimes fired three shots—all of which missed the suspect and one of which killed Olivera-Preciado.
Olivera-Preciado was parked in a nearby driveway waiting for his wife to come out so the two could go on a dinner date—a date that would tragically never happen.
Despite the fact that the suspect was unarmed, the Department of Justice ruled that Jaimes acted in self-defense. The only item found on the scene was a butane lighter.
As the LA Times reported:
The Department of Justice report said it was “pitch black” at the intersection where the shots were fired, and officers couldn’t see the driveway from their positions.
The report said Jaimes acted in “lawful self-defense” and wasn’t criminally liable for the bystander’s death.
“Therefore, there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution,” the report concluded.
“My heart goes out to Mr. Olvera-Preciado’s family, friends and all those who knew him,” Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta said in a statement. “His death was tragic, and there is nothing that can make up for the loss of a loved one.”
Instead of holding the officer accountable for reckless endangerment, manslaughter, or any number of other offenses he committed that night, the AG has recommended changes in training “to help increase public trust and keep our communities safe.”
According to the Times, the recommendations include requiring officers to use de-escalation and crisis intervention techniques when possible as alternatives to using force and developing guidance on policies regarding “situational awareness” to reduce the risk of harming bystanders.
For the family of Olivera-Preciado, those recommendations have come far too late.
In February 2022, the family filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. They have been waiting on this decision by the DOJ to proceed. The taxpayers will now pay for the actions of officer Jaimes.
This article was originally featured at The Free Thought Project and is republished with permission.