The fatal shooting of 41-year-old Gilbert Flores, who the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office claims was resisting arrest, was captured in a video footage which shows that the victim had his arms in surrender before he was gunned down.
The video, shot by an individual named Michael Thomas, shows Flores running out of a home and trying to escape as the deputies Greg Vasquez and Robert Sanchez approach him with guns at the ready. The officers were responding to a dispute wherein a woman had been cut on the head with a knife. Also with the woman was an 18-month-old child, who is also believed to have been harmed. After the officers approach Flores, he holds his arms wide, backs away once, and raises his arms in surrender before he is fatally shot, as reported by the Inquisitr.
It has also been noted that the video does not reveal the entire story. Flores is said to have been armed with a knife, which the video doesn’t show. Moreover, before being shot the officers had tried to subdue Flores with a riot gun and a Taser gun, a struggle which lasted for 20 minutes; but only the last moments of which have been captured.
The video can be viewed here.
In a statement, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office said, “Today, members of our local media chose to broadcast online unedited video of a man’s death. KSAT 12 paid a neighbor who filmed the tragedy $100 for the exclusive rights to the video. As a result, people from outside our community have bombarded us with inappropriate comments, and today, physical threats toward our deputies.”
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Nico Lahood, district attorney for Bexar County, said that a second video of the incident currently being reviewed showed a “different angle.”
“It’s a better angle and much closer. It brings more clarity to the situation,” he said.
Thomas J. Henry, representing the Flores family, said that he is urging the district attorney to release the video.
“When you put your hands up in this country, I believe most people think that you’re giving up and you’re no longer a threat,” he said, as reported by NBC News.
“Certainly, what’s in the video is a cause for concern,” said Sheriff Susan Pamerleau.
The officers involved, Greg Vasquez and Robert Sanchez, have been put under administrative leave pending investigation. They did not have body cameras on them during the incident. According to BBC, the officers and the victim were Hispanic.
Terri Burke, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, said in a statement, “The video of Gilbert Flores’ fatal shooting by two deputies of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office raises serious concerns over whether these officers used force that was proportional to the circumstances. Like other events that that we’ve seen across the country involving interactions with law enforcement, this one points to a troubling trend of overzealous and abusive policing. The video doesn’t show every aspect of the interaction, but it certainly raises serious questions about whether the level of force was constitutionally permissible.”
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