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Five arrested after protests erupt over homeless man killed by California deputy

Five arrested after protests erupt over homeless man killed by California deputy
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Police arrested five protesters in San Clemente, Calif., Thursday as dozens of demonstrators gathered to call for justice in the Wednesday police killing of a homeless Black man. 

According to NBC News, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said at a press conference Thursday afternoon announcing the arrests, that the district attorney would be leading an investigation into the death of 42-year-old Kurt Andras Reinhold of Los Angeles County. 

Police officials said in a statement that two Orange County deputy officers from the department’s Homeless Outreach Team contacted Reinhold Wednesday afternoon, although no reason was given for why the officers went to meet him. 

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Barnes said the encounter resulted in a physical altercation among the three men, during which Reinhold allegedly “appeared” to reach for a deputy’s gun. One of the officers then shot Reinhold twice. 

Cellphone video of the incident was first posted by Local Story early Thursday morning, according to the Los Angeles Times. In the video, the officers appear to stop Reinhold from walking in the middle of the street, after which the homeless man told the officers, “Stop touching me, stop touching me.”

After Reinhold does not appear to listen to the officers telling him to “go sit down,” the deputies eventually wrestle Reinhold to the ground. A voice believed to be one of the deputies then shouted, “he’s got my gun,” after which two gun shots can be heard. 

In Thursday’s press conference, Barnes said that nearby security footage from the Hotel Miramar that reportedly captured the incident would soon be released to the public.

In response to claims that an eyewitness of the clash did not see Reinhold grab the gun, Barnes told reporters to "please refrain from putting out misinformation until the facts can be known,” adding that "there were several attempts to try to offer services” to Reinhold. 

Following the arrest of five demonstrators, San Clemente police imposed a 9 p.m. curfew to prevent any clashes between officers and protesters. 

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According to the Los Angeles Times, there were about 50 protesters in San Clemente on Thursday, many of whom led chants such as “no justice, no peace.” 

Protesters had gathered after a grand jury in Louisville, Ky., decided not to indict three local officers in the killing of Breonna Taylor, whose death in her own apartment after police shot her has provoked outrage. The grand jury brought three lesser charges of wanton endangerment against one of the officers for shots fired that entered another apartment, but no charges for the shots that killed Taylor. 

Louisville police officials announced that they had made 127 arrests amid protests Wednesday night, as well as another two dozen early Friday morning. USA Today reported that on Thursday night, Black Lives Matter protesters clashed with about a dozen armed counterprotesters.