A Texas Public Information Act request reveals that there is no body camera footage showing the June 28 incident where a 13-year veteran of the McAllen Police Department shot a 29-year-old Palmview man three times.
There is, however, dash camera footage depicting the incident, but the city of McAllen has sent a letter to the Texas Attorney General’s Office asking for an opinion that it may withhold the video from public view.
The officer, Marcos Jimenez, shot Rodolfo Rivera in the upper right shoulder, right arm and upper left leg after authorities say he threw bricks at officers responding to a burglary call, according to police.
Jail records indicate that Rivera, who will face charges of arson, burglary criminal mischief and assault on a police officer, still has not been booked into the Hidalgo County jail.
According to police, Rivera tried to break into a residence at around 3:40 a.m. in the 400 block of North Ninth Street and also started a fire by the back door.
When police arrived, Rivera had ran down the street and was found at a nearby liquor store, which police say he broke into, triggering the alarm.
“The suspect then turned towards responding officers and began ‘throwing bricks’ striking and shattering the front windshield of a police unit,” the release stated. “The suspect, charged at one officer throwing unknown projectiles. The Officer was struck on the right side of his head and fearing further harm, discharged his weapon multiple times at the suspect.”
In response to The Monitor’s public information request, the city informed the newspaper that it did not have any body camera footage showing this incident and provided the letter it sent to the Texas AG’s Office.
In that letter, a city attorney argues that releasing the dash camera videos to the newspaper would interfere with the detection, investigation and prosecution of a crime.
“Releasing the information will allow the requestor to ascertain the status of the investigation, evidence obtained, reveal potential witnesses interviewed, and subject those witnesses to possible witness tampering, harassment or retaliation,” the letter stated.
The newspaper is only asking for dash cam video depicting the shooting.
The city also asks the AG to shield the video from public view because it contains license plates to vehicles that are not party to the incident.
“The city lacks the technological capability to redact motor vehicle information from the video recording,” the letter stated. “The practice of editing excludable material and information from a video recording poses serious practical difficulties and would cause the disclosure of confidential or excepted information that is inextricably intertwined with the video.”