A disturbing video recently obtained by a TV station in San Antonio appears to show two Texas police officers fatally shooting a seemingly unarmed man who had his hands up in the air.
The mobile phone clip, recorded by a bystander, shows a shirtless man, identified as Gilbert Flores, outside a house with his arms raised in front of two sheriff’s deputies. Although the video was shot from some distance, it clearly shows the moment one of the officers fires a shot and the 41-year-old man falls down.
Authorities claim the Bexar County Sheriff’s deputies, Greg Vasquez and Robert Sanche, were responding to a complaint of domestic disturbance. The officers reportedly found a woman bleeding from a cut on her head along with an injured baby. However, when they attempted to arrest Flores, he allegedly resisted.
The department claims that efforts to subdue the victim with non-lethal weapons failed.
Apparently, there is a second video which shows the horrific incident from a different angle and is supposedly clearer than the first footage. However, it has not been made public as of yet.
Authorities in Texas are currently examining the videos, while Vasquez and Sanchez have been placed on administrative leave.
“Certainly what’s in the video is a cause for concern, but it’s important to let the investigation go through its course so that we can assure a thorough and complete review of all that occurred,” said Sheriff Susan Pamerleau on Friday.
Furthermore, the department claims the acquired footage only shows the last few moments of the encounter and does not include any audio of the conversation that transpired between the victim and the officers.
The Bexar County Sheriff’s office also slammed the television station for releasing the video that calls into question if the shooting was justified.
The department believes it was unethical and has resulted in threats to the officers, who have not been charged with a crime.
The unfortunate incident comes at a time when tensions between police force and the public – particularly the minority communities – are higher than ever.
“The video of Gilbert Flores' fatal shooting by two deputies raises serious concerns over whether these officers used force that was proportional to the circumstances,” exclaimed Terri Burke, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.