The attorney for relatives of a man shot and killed in January by a security guard inside a West Side Kroger store wants the company to release a video surveillance recording of the incident.
Chanda L. Brown said in a recent court filing that the video, which she has seen, is important evidence that should be made public. Her argument is based, in part, on the autopsy of the victim, Paris Royal, which stated that he was shot on Jan. 15 twice in the back and in the rear of the arm. The guard, Richard Rush, worked for Reliable Protection Services at the Kroger at 3600 Soldano Boulevard.
According to an autopsy report from the Franklin County Coroner’s office, the bullet in his lower back damaged his right kidney, liver, diaphragm and right lung along with arteries. The bullet in his upper rear arm entered his upper chest, according to the autopsy.
This was at least the second lethal incident involving a Kroger customer and an armed Kroger security guard this year. Kroger has declined to comment on pending litigation, said spokeswoman Amy McCormick.
“Paris Royal was shot in the back as he turned to disengage from an argument with a security guard (working at the Kroger)” according to the memorandum filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court arguing for the public release of the video.
The video, Brown states in the memo, “is the best possible evidence available to show the truth of the events that led to Paris Royal’s death.”
Kroger, in its own court filings, argues that the video is protected in part due to privacy concerns and that customers’ personal information such as credit card numbers might be exposed and security measures inside the store exposed.
Brown argues that she is not seeking the approximate 30 minutes of video before and after the shooting, just the moments immediately before, during and after, arguing that any personal information could easily be redacted. She states that Kroger’s arguments related to privacy are “speculative” and not based on evidence or facts and that case law shows that there is a “reduced expectation of privacy” with the prevalence of cameras in public places.
Other deaths by Kroger security guards
On June 1, a second man was shot and killed in the parking lot of a North Side Kroger by a Kroger private security guard.
The incident stemmed from an incident inside the Kroger, at 1745 Morse Road, with one or more people accusing another of cutting in line, Columbus police detective Chris Journey had said.
After the security guard asked the parties involved to leave, one of them, Juan M. J. Cuarenta, returned and attempted to rob another at gunpoint before the guard shot and killed him, police had said. The guard has not been named.
Kroger stores in other cities have had similar lethal incidents by armed security guards.
Two years ago on Aug. 8, in Memphis, security guard Gregory Livingston shot and killed Alvin Motley Jr. at a Kroger fuel center. Livingston was charged with murder. Kroger cut its ties with the security company it was using.
Kroger has used special duty police officers in the past in Columbus. The company has not said why, or if, that has changed. Kroger declined to answer any questions about its operations, McCormick said.
The cost for using sworn police officers can be three-to-four times more expensive than security guards.
(Source: The Columbus Dispatch)