Newly released camera footage shows how the Raleigh police officer who came closest to being injured on May 7—as Reuel Rodriguez-Nunez, 37, threw Molotov cocktails at police—goaded Rodriguez-Nunez into continuing his attack just before he was shot and killed.
Master Officer P.W. Coates, who was wearing body camera 3 and standing closest to Nunez, shouted at him to “Do it! Do it!” as Rodriguez-Nunez held a Molotov cocktail in his hand.
“Go ahead, go ahead motherf***er do it! Do it!” Coates shouted, his gun drawn. “Go a-f***ing-head. Go right f***ing ahead. Go ahead motherf***er, do it, do it.”
Coates tells the other officers to “give me the go ahead,” presumably referring to the go ahead to shoot Rodriguez-Nunez.
Ordered by Coates (although ignoring other police officers who were ordering him to stop and take his hands out of his pockets), Rodriguez-Nunez indeed “does it,” lighting a Molotov cocktail and preparing to throw it toward the officer.
Raleigh police officers opened fire as Rodriguez-Nunez drew his arm back, letting fly with more than 30 rounds in a series of rapid gunshots. As Rodriguez-Nunez fell the ground, the Molotov cocktail landed near Coates, missing him as he ran out of the way.
Coates was one of four Raleigh police officers to surround Rodriguez-Nunez, guns drawn, toward the end of a roughly 7-minute confrontation early last month.
The video, which includes surveillance, dash camera, and body camera footage, was released to the public Thursday afternoon, after Rodriguez-Nunez’s family had a chance to review it. A judge ordered the footage released during a hearing last week in which both the family, represented by Emancipate NC, and the police petitioned for its publication.
Whether Rodriguez-Nunez struggled with his mental health is unclear. One family member told WRAL that Rodriguez-Nunez had recently been incarcerated and suffered from mental health issues.
Kerwin Pittman, a local activist, says the camera footage shows “this was clearly a man in distress.”
“It was like he went there with the intention of his demise,” Pittman told the INDY, adding that a mental health crisis response unit may have been able to mitigate the situation. “The ACORNS unit (Raleigh’s crisis team) responds after a crisis has happened. If it was proactive instead of reactive it could have saved this man’s life.”
Dawn Blagrove, executive director of Emancipate NC, expressed similar concerns, saying Rodriguez-Nunez “is clearly in crisis.” At one point during his confrontation with the officers, Rodriguez-Nunez says “Today… is my day… to… move on.”
Natalie D. is an American conservative writer who writes for Supreme Insider and Conservative US, ! Natalie has described herself as a polemicist who likes to “stir up the pot,” and does not “pretend to be impartial or balanced, as broadcasters do,” drawing criticism from the left, and sometimes from the right. As a passionate journalist, she works relentlessly to uncover the corruption happening in Washington. She is a “constitutional conservative”.