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Oversight Panel Urges Firing For Officer Who Repeatedly Lied About Fatal Shooting

By Emma G. Gallegos in News on Feb 10, 2017 4:30PM

The Independent Police Review Authority recommended that a police officer be fired for repeatedly lying about his role in fatally shooting a man during a traffic stop—more than six years after the killing and just a week after the officer was promoted to a role training rookie cops. The case illustrates some of the lingering flaws in the way the city oversees cases of police misconduct.

The family's attorney Steve Greenberg told the Tribune in a statement that he hoped the recommendation would have "a chilling effect on the serial lying that is all too common."

Last night, the IPRA released a report and also formally recommended that Raoul Mosqueda be fired for lying on three separate occasions to cover up the details of a traffic stop in which he fatally shot Darius Pinex in Englewood in January 2011, according to the Tribune. The report found that Mosqueda lied about details of what led to the shooting to IPRA investigators, at a deposition for the lawsuit and then on the stand at trial. Last week Mosqueda was promoted to field training officer, but this week he was stripped of his police powers after the department received the IPRA report.

A CPD spokesman told ABC 7, "If the IPRA findings are true and he lied, he will be fired."

Mosqueda shot Pinex during a traffic stop, after he and his partner Gildardo Sierra boxed him in. A video of the stop was released yesterday along with the report, though it didn't show the actual shooting. Officers claimed that they exited their car with guns drawn, that Pinex refused orders, put his car in reverse and then gunned forward, hitting a light pole.

Mosqueda claimed that he had earlier heard a police dispatch mentioning Pinex's car as involved in a shooting—a fact he relayed to the IPRA and mentioned in depositions and court testimony. But there was no such dispatch.

Last December the family won a $3.5 million settlement from the city over the shooting.
During the wrongful death trial, it was discovered that a city attorney concealed a recording that proved Mosqueada lied about the dispatch. The attorney representing the city later resigned over the cover-up.

The IPRA report concluded the officer "was not justified in initiating the traffic stop of Subject or treating the stop as a high-risk encounter."

Darius' mother Gloria Pinex says she's been fighting the department "tooth and nail" for six years, and last week she was distraught to hear about Mosqueda's promotion. She told ABC 7, "I was thrilled, I was overjoyed... I'm just happy. He is finally going to get what he deserves."