Raleigh police officers won't face charges in shooting death of suspect: Wake DA

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Monday, October 10, 2022
Raleigh officers won't face charges in shooting death of suspect
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The Wake County District Attorney announced the Raleigh police officers who shot and killed Reuel Rodriguez-Nunes in May won't face prosecution.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Wake County District Attorney announced the Raleigh police officers who shot and killed a man in May won't face prosecution.

Reuel Rodriguez-Nunez was accused of throwing Molotov cocktails at police cars outside the Southeast Raleigh Substation.

A toxicology report revealed he did not have any alcohol or drugs in his system.

Police said they shot Rodriguez-Nunez after he threatened officers.

Investigators said the officers fired 30 shots at Rodriguez-Nunez. The newly released autopsy report found that he suffered from 11 gunshot wounds, including ones to his head, arms, back, torso, legs and foot.

SEE ALSO: RPD releases video from deadly encounter with man who threw Molotov cocktails at police cars

Raleigh police released the bodycam footage of the encounter with a man who was setting fire to multiple police cars.

Following the release of the body camera footage in the case back in June, Rodriguez-Nunez's family called for changes to police policy.

The family said the officers failed to handle the situation as a mental health crisis.

"We look up to them and things like this, they affect all of us. It doesn't matter is if it's not your family or if it's a family member, we know this was wrong," Jasiel Rodriguez Nunez said at the time.

Monday, community Activist Kerwin Pittman, who has been in contact with the family, says the report does not give a true overview of the circumstance.

"It does not speak to this man having a mental health crisis. It does not speak to this man going through something," he said.

Pittman feels an officer was challenging Nunez.

"Officer Coates essentially told this man to go on ahead and 'do it, do it, do it" so he could gun him down. And when the man did it, he gunned him down. So for it to not be no repercussions for these types of actions, it just empower and embolden law enforcement officers to keep doing egregious activities," said Pittman.

Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman is standing by the decision, arguing that Nunez was a threat to officers and the general public.

The report states that prior to Coates' arrival, "Officers on scene had legal justification in using force."

"We have looked at all the video, looked at the evidence and there just simply isn't grounds. The use of force here, as tragic as it is, is justified," said Freeman. "We could not determine that a crime occurred. That does not mean that we condone everything that went on there that day."

Freeman says the situation shows the desperate need for more mental health services in the community, and she is calling on the Raleigh Police Department to take action.

"I do hope that the department will make every effort to look at this from a professionalism standpoint, from a policy violation standpoint, and to ensure that best practices are put in place and that there's adequate training about de-escalation that is critical," said Freeman.

ABC11 Eyewitness News reach out to the Raleigh Police Department for comment on this decision and if the policies were followed. We have not heard back.