The Dilan Cruz Shooting: Tracking Officer 003478
In collaboration with Colombia’s La Liga Contra el Silencio and Cerosetenta, Newsy and Bellingcat reconstructed the shooting of Dilan Cruz, an 18-year-old student who was hit in the head with a bean bag round at a protest in Bogota on November 23, 2019. Cruz died from his injuries in hospital two days later.
Using a combination of open source videos and footage collected by our Colombian partners, we were able to identify the officer who shot Cruz by tracking his movements across several videos:
Working Backwards: Tracking Officer 003478
The process of identifying the officer who shot Cruz began with two videos showing the injury that eventually claimed Cruz’s life.
One video captured after he fell to the ground showed what appeared to be a bean bag round lodged in his skull. The second video, captured while he was receiving first aid, showed a woman struggling to remove what appears to be a piece of cloth from his skull. When she is unable pull the material out of Cruz’s head, the others prevented her from continuing her efforts, saying, “It’s lodged in there! It’s lodged in there.”
On November 28, three days after his death, a coroner confirmed that Cruz had been killed by a “bean bag” fired from a shotgun that caused “penetrating trauma” to his skull.
We began to analyze the images and videos captured at the scene of his shooting to determine whether the officer who fired the shot was visible in any of them. As a first step, this involved identifying which officers were carrying shotguns capable of firing bean bags. Not all of them were, after all: …read more