A Texas grand jury has found two sheriff’s deputies not guilty for the August 28th shooting of Gilbert Flores of San Antonio, Texas.
December 15, 2015
(ANTIMEDIA) San Antonio, TX — On August 28, Bexar County Sheriffs in San Antonio, Texas, responded to a domestic disturbance call and found Gilbert Flores pacing in a front yard. A video shows Flores, 41, with his hands in the air before being shot dead at close range by sheriff’s deputies Greg Vasquez and Robert Sanchez.
On Wednesday December 9th a grand jury in Bexar County “no-billed” the deputies, stating that they acted in accordance with the law and are cleared to return to duty. Officers say Flores had a knife in his hand when they shot him but the first video does not corroborate that claim.
“Their actions have been reviewed by this office, by the district attorney’s office, by the media, the federal authorities and now a grand jury,” Sheriff Susan Pamerleau said at a news conference. Although Pamerleau said she agreed with the decision and found “there are no winners in this situation,” she argued that “without Mr. Flores’ actions, this would not have happened.”
Courthouse News reports that the Bexar County District Attorney’s office stated the grand jury used all available videos as evidence during the grand jury proceedings. Flores’ family called the shooting “unjustified” and “clearly excessive.”
Following the shooting, Flores’ family filed a civil rights lawsuit, which is still pending in federal court. The complaint against the two sheriff’s deputies and Bexar County claims that “there was no immediate danger of bodily injury to the officers or others.”
A second video of the shooting was released just days after the ruling. At one point in that video, Flores can be seen walking toward the cops with two fold-up chairs. “I think he wants to die,” one neighbor says in the video. After several minutes Flores walks towards the deputies with his hands out, walks behind the police vehicle, and then walks towards the deputies — again with his hands up. Within seconds, Flores is shot twice and falls dead on the ground.
Why didn’t the officers pursue less than lethal methods when Flores had his hands in the air? Was there really a knife? Would a civilian be given the same protections as these officers? These are all important questions to ask as we reflect on yet another shooting at the hands of those who are supposedly tasked with protecting and serving our communities.
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