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Willowbrook deputy shooting: Family alleges witness tampering

November 19, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The family of a man shot and killed by deputies in Willowbrook is asking the FBI to get involved and investigate whether the shooting was justified, and whether deputies pressured a witness to change her story to corroborate their version of events.

Words can't describe the grief the family is feeling after losing a husband, a father, a son and twin brother.

"I feel empty. His wife feels empty. When I was a kid, I was always two, but now, I'm just one," said the victim's twin, David De La Trinidad.

The family of 36-year-old Jose De La Trinidad came together on Monday to ask for justice.

"It's hard for me to believe that he was shot for doing what he was supposed to do," said widow Rosie De La Trinidad.

On Nov. 10, Jose De La Trinidad was driving back from a quincea?era with his brother when they were pulled over in Willowbrook. After a short pursuit, the car stopped, and Jose De La Trinidad got out of the passenger side. According to deputies, he raised his arm from his waistband, prompting deputies to open fire, killing him. Jose De La Trinidad was unarmed.

"Our investigator has uncovered what we believe is an effort on the part of sheriff's investigators to cover up, to engage in witness tampering, to try to change the testimony of the very solid eyewitness who saw that when Jose was shot, he had his hands up in the air," said family attorney Luis Carrillo.

The sheriff's department said it categorically denies the allegation that deputies intimidated a witness or tried to change a witness's story. Deputies also say they have not yet spoken to any civilian witnesses.

The deputies involved in the shooting were taken off duty for five days, as per protocol, but they have since been cleared to return to the field.


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