Attorneys for family of teen shot, killed by Pleasanton police accuse department of lying

Police response awaiting completion of Alameda County District Attorney's investigation

Attorneys for the family of a man shot and killed by police during a confrontation outside a Pleasanton auto dealership earlier this month have accused the city's police department of covering up the facts of the shooting.

In a statement prepared by the Los Angeles law firm Geragos & Geragos, the department is accused of of inconsistencies in its accounts of the shooting and obstruction in responding to questions about the case.

Pleasanton police are withholding comments until Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley and her department complete their investigation of the case.

However, Mark Geragos and his firm issued another of several press releases disputing an account of the shooting death of 19-year-old John Deming Jr. by Officer Daniel Kunkel. disputing the police department's account of the July 5 confrontation outside Specialty Sales Classics, a car dealership at 4321 First St.

Initial police accounts said that 19-year-old John Deming Jr. was

found outside the dealership when police arrived at about 2 a.m., Geragos states in his press release, but notes that a revised account said he was inside but visible through the dealership's large glass windows.

Geragos said police dispatch records indicate that only 22 seconds passed between officers entering the business and Deming being shot. He said it is impossible for the confrontation

as described to have lasted only 22 seconds.

The law firm has accused police of inconsistent statements in this regard, at first saying the incident was captured on video but later saying it was not.

The firm's attorneys said the police department then started a campaign of "character assassination" against Deming, searching his mother's home for evidence of drugs and burglaries. During the search, officers handcuffed his mother and held her at gunpoint while refusing to tell her where her son was. The attorneys also said Pleasanton police attempted to interrogate Deming's grandmother and recent barbecue guests to the family's home.

Geragos said the family retained his firm shortly after the shooting, adding that the firm has represented

numerous celebrity clients, including Chris Brown and Michael Jackson.

According to Geragos, the family has also retained an independent forensic pathologist who conducted an autopsy on Deming's body last weekend and is preparing his findings, according to the attorneys.

Deming was the son of an Oakdale reserve police officer and recently graduated from Piedmont Hills High School in San Jose, where he was a football player.

Scott Morris, Bay City News

— Bay City News Service

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