Illegal Immigrant Linked to Officer’s Death Released

( – Immigration authorities recently released an illegal immigrant from Guatemala despite his connection to the death of a police officer in 2023 and public outcry for a criminal case against the Guatemalan native. The immigrant, 19-year-old Virgilio Aguilar Mendez, indirectly caused a police officer’s death after fighting with multiple officers during an incident in May of last year. Although Aguilar Mendez’s actions directly resulted in an officer’s heart attack, authorities won’t pursue criminal charges against the illegal immigrant.

The incident that prompted Sergeant Michael Kunovich’s death occurred in Florida after Kunovich spotted Aguilar Mendez walking down a street and talking to someone on the phone. Kunovich reportedly believed Aguilar Mendez could’ve been connected to a crime or actively committing one and approached the Guatemalan native to perform an investigation. Aguilar Mendez attempted to leave the area despite Kunovich’s repeated instructions to stop, prompting the now-deceased officer to call for backup police personnel to help him restrain Aguilar Mendez.

Throughout the encounter, Aguilar Mendez claimed that he couldn’t speak English and refused to cooperate with authorities who attempted to detain him. After he resisted multiple attempts from officers, the responding authorities began using force to restrain Aguilar Mendez. According to reports, officers tackled the illegal immigrant and began using tasers to force his compliance. During the physical altercation with the police officers, Aguilar Mendez managed to grab a pocket knife but did not use it to harm any of the responding authorities. Kunovich had a heart attack during his encounter with Aguilar Mendez and died before medical personnel could assist him.

While the responding officers claim Aguilar Mendez actively ignored their instructions and attempted to fight the officers, the Guatemalan immigrant’s lawyer describes a different series of events leading to Kunovich’s heart attack. Attorney Jose Baez claims that Aguilar Mendez couldn’t understand the officers’ instructions as he didn’t speak English and that the immigrant panicked after officers began using physical force. Baez also claims that none of the responding police officers explained Aguilar Mendez’s rights or attempted to explain the situation in English.

Baez filed a lawsuit against Lieutenant Jose Jimenez, one of the responding officers, whom Baez accuses of failing to inform Aguilar Mendez of his constitutional rights or organizing an interpreter for the confused illegal immigrant. Prosecutors dropped the manslaughter charges related to Kunovich’s death against Aguilar Mendez, meaning the illegal immigrant won’t face any criminal repercussions for Kunovich’s death.

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