Name of shooting officer in Jackson case released
The City of South Lake Tahoe, through its attorney, released the name of the officer involved in the mid-June shooting death of unarmed Kris Jackson following a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by the Jackson family attorney.
The officer was identified as Joshua Klinge, who has been in the force since January.
Klinge reportedly shot Jackson in the early hours of June 15 after responding with another officer to a call involving a woman who was crying and screaming at the Tahoe Hacienda Inn. A few minutes later, Jackson was shot. He died at Barton Memorial Hospital hours later.
Klinge had previously worked for the Ceres Police Department from May 2007 until January, according to his LinkedIn profile. Before that, he was employed with the Merced County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy sheriff from December 2004 to May 2007.
According to court documents, Klinge was involved in another officer-involved shooting incident in May 2007, but he was not the shooting officer. The case was later settled and dismissed. The plaintiff, Kenya Kwame Moseley, survived the incident.
Moseley alleged in a lawsuit that during the incident, officer James Yandell shot him in the shoulder and lower back as he was trying to climb a fence in an apparent attempted escape. He claimed he then turned with his hands raised, unarmed, to surrender and the officer continued to fire. According to the documents, Moseley had tried to drive away from the officers moments earlier, before he once again pulled over and tried to run away.
Yandell was acting as field training officer for Klinge at the time, according to the court documents.
The officer’s defense claimed Moseley crawled across the front seat of the vehicle and exited the front door, which the officers thought was an effort to seek cover in anticipation of a gun battle. At one point, after climbing off the fence, Moseley reached for his waistband, the defense claimed. The officer reacted quickly and shot four times.
Klinge continued to work for the Ceres Police Department until early this year following the incident.
In this year’s incident, Jackson was killed a few minutes before 3 a.m. June 15 after Klinge and another officer responded to a suspicious call at Tahoe Hacienda Inn involving a woman who was crying and screaming. Jackson was shot a single time, and investigators determined he was not armed at the time.
A timeline compiled with the dispatch records indicated the crucial action occurred in roughly 28 seconds between reports that Kris was going out the window and an ambulance being requested.
The case is ongoing and little official information has been released. In the correspondence between Bruce D. Praet, who represents the city, and Alan M. Laskin, who represents the Jackson family, that included the officer’s name, Praet disagreed with Laskin that partial information could be released.
“We respectfully disagree since it is critical that the ongoing investigation and witnesses not be hindered or influenced by releasing information before the investigation can be completed,” Praet wrote.
Information released by the SLTPD following the incident stated that Klinge said he perceived a threat from Jackson, but Laskin has challenged that, and has described Klinge’s actions as hasty. Laskin argued that, at the very least, proper protocols were not followed, and at one point stated the incident “looked much like an execution.”
According to Laskin, Jackson was shot as he was trying to climb out of a window. Laskin claims, based on gathered testimony, that Klinge never yelled any commands for Jackson to stop. The bullet entered Jackson’s chest and came out the back of the shoulder and was found to enter the wall of the bathroom about 6-to-8 feet off the ground, according to Laskin.
SLTPD Chief Brian Uhler previously stated, “I have not seen any evidence to support the claim made by the attorney. Since it is clear that the attorney intends to file a lawsuit, it would be irresponsible for me to respond to such an assertion. All of the facts from the ongoing investigation will be presented to the proper authorities and not in response to claims asserted in the news. Additionally, the results of the investigation will eventually be made public. I have a responsibility to ensure such facts are presented professionally.”
The investigation into the case is ongoing.
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