Newly obtained video footage shows two Texas police officers fatally shooting 41-year-old Gilbert Flores, who was holding his arms up in the air.
Bexar County Sheriff’s Deputies Greg Vasquez and Robert Sanchez killed the suspect after responding to a domestic disturbance call on Friday. Police said that an 18-month-old baby was injured and a woman had a cut on her forehead.
ABC affiliate KSAT-12 released graphic footage of the shooting taken by Michael Thomas, a motorist who witnessed the shooting in passing.
Kenneth Williams, a professor at South Texas College of Law, told the New York Times that it “appears that the victim had his hands in the air at the time that he was shot.”
“He clearly was not running away at the moment he was shot. Furthermore, he did not appear to be reaching for a weapon nor making any movement toward the officer that would have justified the shooting.”
Both officers, who have been with the force for at least 10 years, are now on paid administrative leave.
The Bexar County Sheriff's Office claimed that Mr Flores was armed with a knife and was resisting arrest when deputies arrived to the suspect's home. Still, the newly released cell phone footage apparently shows that the suspect posed no threat to the officers.
"As the guy and police were going back and forth, the man acted like he was going to run back inside his house and then ran around the cars by the cop car and the cops started pursuing closer to him," Mr Thomas told CNN.
The department was unmistakably upset with the footage, condemning the local media’s attempt to shed light on the officers’ behaviour.
“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. These deputies have not been charged with a crime and a family lost their loved one. This is unethical and sad. Call KSAT and let them know what you think," the department wrote in a Facebook post, before publishing the station's phone number.
"If you agree, let the local media know this sort of sensational behavior doesn't fly in Bexar County.”
District Attorney Nico LaHood reportedly said that there's another video closer to the shooting that has not been released to the public.Reuse content