Cop Shooting Video Raises Questions

still of the police shoot shooting video caught on tape on
CBS
The image on the grainy home video is both sensational and disturbing: A sheriff's deputy shoots a man who appears to be unarmed and obeying his orders.

But experts say it remains unclear whether the video tells the entire story of what transpired this week in Chino, California after a brief, high-speed car chase in which a deputy appears to shoot an unarmed Air Force security officer as he attempts to stand.

Videos, they say, often end up raising more questions than they answer.

"They're drenched with caveats," said Eugene O'Donnell, a professor of police studies at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.

"One thing we've learned about videos is there are often missing pieces before and after," added O'Donnell, a former New York police officer and prosecutor. "The quality of the video is often problematic and the sound doesn't pick up relevant issues and can actually distort things."

But University of Southern California Law Professor Charles Whitebread told CBS News correspondent Sandra Hughes that the tape may be grainy, but clear enough to leave the sheriff's deputy with much to explain.

"If it were up to me, I would be reluctant to have such a person on my team," Whitebread said.

In the Chino shooting, a deputy appears in a 40-second home video to order 21-year-old Elio Carrion to his feet, then shoots him as he tries to stand. Carrion, an Air Force security officer just back from Iraq, underwent surgery for wounds to his chest, ribs and leg and was in good condition.

Carrion was a passenger in a Corvette that a deputy began chasing because it was speeding through a residential neighborhood at 100 mph, authorities said. The chase ended when the car crashed into a wall.

No weapons were found on Carrion or the driver, Luis Escobedo, who has not yet been charged, sheriff's officials said. They didn't release the deputy's name or any information about him.

Hughes reports the FBI was investigating possible civil rights violations in the shooting.