Modesto Reyes' Family, Attorneys Say Independent Autopsy Shows He Was Shot In The Back By Police

Jun 24, 2020
Originally published on June 23, 2020 5:59 pm

The family and attorneys of Modesto Reyes want answers from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office (JPSO) after his death in May.

They held a press conference Tuesday morning to announce the results of an independent autopsy.

Reyes was shot by police after a chase on May 27. The killing has gotten widespread local attention in the wake of the social justice movement following George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police last month.

Reyes was a welder and survived the Hard Rock Hotel collapse last year.

The JPSO says the shooting was justified, but attorneys want to see an eight-second taser video of the incident. They say their autopsy shows Reyes was shot in the back.

The JPSO has said Reyes pointed a gun at officers, but attorneys say he had two guns in his bag, not in his hands.

Attorney Dedrick Moore called for the department to get body cameras. Addressing concerns about the cost, he said, “Children could have their fathers back, mothers could have their sons back. … No longer should the cost be too high for the citizens of Louisiana. We ask for change and we need it now.”

An unarmed 14-year-old was also shot by the JPSO a few months ago. The attorneys say they plan to file lawsuits against the department.

Sheriff Joe Lopinto held a press conference Tuesday afternoon in response, saying the investigation is ongoing and accusing the family and lawyers of spreading false information.

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