Parents of San Jose man killed by police hire well-known attorney to find 'truth'

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) -- The parents of a 19-year-old San Jose man who was shot and killed by police in Pleasanton on Sunday are demanding the truth about what happened during the weekend officer-involved shooting and have hired well-known Los Angeles based attorney Mark Geragos to investigate the incident.

The family says police have given them conflicting information. Johnathon Deming Junior's parents say he was friendly and peaceful and contradicts the police description of their son. 

"He's never been in trouble with the law. He's a phenomenal,happy kid. He doesn't get in trouble," said Johnathon Deming Senior about his son.

Johnathon's parents say their son was a young man in transition. He graduated from high school a year ago where he was a varsity football player.
He was hoping for a career in music.

When asked how she would describe her son, Linda Stasi replied, "An angel."

The family shared with KTVU video of their son singing and playing guitar. But Johnathon was silenced early Sunday morning around 2 a.m.

Police said they responded to a burglar alarm going off at Specialty Sales Classics, a car dealership in downtown Pleasanton. Officers told KTVU Johnathon had broken into the business.

"He was inside on top of vehicles jumping from car to car. They tried to communicate with him to get him to come out. He didn't. He wouldn't come out," said Pleasanton Police Lt. Jeff Bretzing.

Police said he was aggressive and threw a car jack through the dealership's window. They said when Johnathon failed to comply with orders, officers fired a bean bag at him and later tasered him.

But none of it worked.

Police said the 19-year-old ran out of the dealership and suddenly, they say Johnathon turned and charged at an officer, knocking that officer down.

"Mr. Deming jumped right on top of him and started pummeling him," said Bretzing.

Police said Officer Daniel Kunkel, who has a total of eight years in law enforcement with Antioch and Pleasanton police departments, pulled out his gun and fired three shots at Johnathan, hitting him in the chest and the face.

"Handle this the correct way. You don't have to kill people," said Deming, Johnathon's father. Deming said he's a part time officer with the Oakdale Police Department himself, so he's familiar with police protocol and procedure.

"It's our son. We've lost our son. I just want answers. I want the truth," said Deming.

Police said there is no video of the actual shooting, but that there is video inside the car dealership they're not releasing at this time.

The family says they were told the officers were wearing body cams.

KTVU contacted Pleasanton Poiice about this, but had not heard back when this story was written.