Jefferson Parish, LA – The police killing of George Floyd has inspired protests around the country, but another black man slain by cops is garnering attention in the New Orleans area. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office has come under scrutiny for the shooting death of Marrero’s Modesto Reyes, who rapped under the name De$to.
Reyes was shot and killed by a Jefferson Parish sheriff’s deputy after being chased during a traffic stop on May 27. According to The Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate, JPSO claims the victim was in possession of two guns and a backpack containing narcotics.
Sheriff Joe Lopinto says Reyes pointed a gun at a sheriff’s deputy. The victim’s family and friends say he was unarmed, only holding a cell phone when he was shot.
An eight-second video of the shooting has been shown to reporters but not been made available to the public. Protesters are asking for the footage to be released.
JPSO tasers feature a camera that starts recording when the weapon is unholstered, producing a brief clip of the incident. The video reportedly begins with Reyes tripping and falling while being chased on foot by two deputies.
Protesters demonstrated outside of the sheriff’s office in Jefferson Parish on Thursday (June 4). The people were demanding JPSO institute the use of body cameras, which aren’t currently required by the department.
Reyes was 35 years old. Last year, he managed to survive the deadly collapse at New Orleans’ Hard Rock Hotel while working as welder at the construction site.