Texas Officers Cleared|in Videotaped Killing


     SAN ANTONIO (CN) – A Texas grand jury declined to indict two sheriff’s officers for killing a shirtless man whom a video shows raising his hands in the air before they shoot him to death.
     A Bexar County grand jury no-billed sheriff’s Officers Greg Vasquez and Robert Sanchez for the Aug. 28 killing of Gilbert Flores , Sheriff Susan Pamerleau said Wednesday.
     The two veteran officers killed Flores, 41, of San Antonio after a domestic disturbance call. A 4-minute video shot by a Texas college student shows Flores pacing in a front yard, raising his hands in the air, then falling dead upon being shot at close range.
     The video stoked national outrage at a string of police killings caught on camera.
     “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,” Pamerleau said at a news conference.
     “While we support the grand jury’s decision to no-bill these deputies, I think it’s important to recognize that there are no winners in this situation. A man has lost his life, and for that we are saddened.”
     In the video, Flores’ left hand is obstructed by a pole. The sheriff said that a second video, which has not been made public, shows that he had a knife in his hand.
     Pamerleau said the second video will be released now that the case is closed, along with reports and 911 tapes.
     “Without Mr. Flores’ actions, this would not have happened,” she said.
     The Bexar County District Attorney’s office said in a statement that the grand jury used all videos as evidence during proceedings.
     A civil rights lawsuit Flores’ family filed in September is pending in Federal Court. The complaint against the two sheriff’s deputies and Bexar County claims that Flores surrendered and that “there was no immediate danger of bodily injury to the officers or others.”
     The family calls the shooting “unjustified” and “clearly excessive.”
     The FBI is investigating the shooting but has not released information about it.
     Pamerleau said the deputies are cleared to return to duty when they are ready.

%d bloggers like this: