October 14, 20114
(TheAntiMedia) ROCKY FORD, CO- A 27-year-old man in Rocky Ford, Colorado was killed by a police officer who broke into the victim’s mother’s home shortly after 2 A.M. on Sunday morning. He was pronounced dead at Arkansas Valley Regional Hospital, though his family says he died on the kitchen floor.
The victim, Jack Jacquez, reportedly came home late from helping babysit for a friend when an officer forced his way through the door. Shouting ensued. Jacquez’s fiancée, Mariah Jacquez, says she was awoken by a loud noise and,
“…came out, gun shots firing. Found my fiancé on the floor. He couldn’t breathe.”
She is four months pregnant with his child and also says a shot nearly hit her.
Jack Jacquez’s sister-in-law, Sara Lindenmuth, who also witnessed the events, stated:
“He was standing next to his mom, his back turned toward the officer and then he shot him twice in the back and then pepper sprayed him…Then they hand cuffed his fiancée, for reasons I don’t know why. And the mom went to call the cops and the cop took her phone and threw it against the wall.”
Lindenmuth also said:
“He just showed up…No one knows why he just showed up. It just all happened unexpectedly.”
The officer, James Ashby, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. The bureau is collaborating with Rocky Ford police.
Jacquez had a “criminal record” of “possession of drugs, theft, driving under the influence and other traffic offenses,” according to KRDO, a local news station, which did not cite a history of violence.
Regardless of his alleged background, Jacquez’s neighbors and family were shocked at the incident. One of his neighbors, Brian Otero, told KRDO:
“We are neighbors, of course, and he was a good kid. I don’t see anything on his side that would prompt the officer to shoot him.”
He said he was a “quiet and respectable guy.”
Regardless of any history of past offenses, there is no justifiable reason why Ashby should have broken into a private residence, let alone murdered an inhabitant and cuffed others with no explanation. It is not surprising that he is on “administrative leave,” however, considering the tendencies of police departments to take care of their own and condone the most violent of crimes.
The Bureau of Investigation and police are refusing to comment further on the incident as it is an ongoing investigation.
While there may be as of yet unknown details that explain the altercation between the two men, police will have a difficult time coming up with a defense for an officer breaking and entering and abusing civilians, whether a young male “suspect,” his mother, or his pregnant fiancée.
Jacquez’ neighbor, Danny Whatley, did not hear the gun shots but was disturbed by the news:
“It’s just getting worse and worse every day, it seems like…I don’t know what to think.”
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