Sunday, August 26, 2018

Anthony Kapinski, acquited in Self Defense Shooting, sues for False Imprisonment

Screen shot shows first punch thrown at Kapinski
On the night of 26 May, 2017, at about 11 p.m., in Albuquerque, New Mexico, upwards of a 150 car lovers had congregated in the parking lot of the New Beginnings Church. On Friday nights, the parking lot had been a popular place for hundreds to meet and show off their cars.

The video shows two men, Paul Francia and Jordan Mucher, are in a group close to  Anthony Kapinski near where his car was parked. They are said to have accused him of stealing car parts some time previously. Kapinski moved to his car.

Kapinski then moved his car to the far end of the parking lot, but still covered by the surveillance cameras. Francia and Mucher can be seen following Kapinski. Kapinski appears to be standing in the angle of his open car door (backed into the parking space) as he is approached. He is boxed in, then attacked by two men. They appear to be Francia and Mucher, but cannot be absolutely identified in the video.

Kapinski accesses a handgun and fires. The attackers disperse. One falls down in the parking lot. One dies in the parking lot, the other at the hospital. Each was shot once.

The next day, Kapinski turned himself in to police.

The story shown in the video is different than told in the newspapers shortly after Kapinski is taken into custody.

Link to video

Here are a couple of lines published a few days after the shooting.  1 June, 2017 From :
According to a criminal complaint, it all started when Mucher and Francia confronted Kapinski about some car parts he had stolen from them in the past. That's when a fight broke out.
Here are very similar lines, except for critical details, published after Kapinski had been acquitted at trial, more than a year later. The jury had been allowed to see the surveillance video. 17 August, 2018 From :
According to the criminal complaint, Mucher and Francia confronted Kapinski about car parts they claimed Kapinski stole, then attacked Kapinski as he stood by his car door.
Was the "criminal complaint", referenced by krge on both occasions, the same at both times?

The prosecution withheld the video from the judge when arguing that Kapinski should be held without bail. While Kapinski had never been convicted of a crime, the prosecution said he had a "long criminal history".

Kapinski was in jail for nearly a year.

Kapinski and his lawyer are sueing the Albuquerque police and the City of Albuquerque for false arrest and imprisonment. They claim the video is such a clear case of self defense, there was no probable cause to arrest Anthony Kapinski.

 We do not know what will happen in the Kapinski case. It seems unlikely a judge would have been convinced Kapinski was such a threat he could not be released on bail, after seeing the video. Kapinski did not initiate the fight. He retreated and moved his car. He was followed and attacked by two men, boxed in without an easy way to retreat.

Having previous contacts with law enforcement personnel, but never having been convicted of a crime, seems a stretch for a "long criminal history" when you are 24.

Video evidence is changing our society and legal system in numerous ways. Juries are now asking: Where is the video?

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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