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TTAG reader Vhyrus writes:

I am from this area so this hits close to home. A prisoner was being transported by police when he became aggressive and began struggling. At one point he was on the ground fighting with two cops (while still handcuffed). He got away from the police for a moment and the cop immediately draws and fires on him, killing him. The whole incident was recorded. You can see the shot happen around 18:55. Here’s how describes the incident . . .

Daniel Saenz had been arrested for reportedly assaulting an off-duty officer and staff at a local medical center on March 8, 2013. [Officer] Flores and a prison guard were transporting Saenz — shirtless, handcuffed, and struggling — from the city jail to a hospital to treat a self-inflicted injury. Flores fired the fatal shot with a Glock semiautomatic handgun as he and the prison guard wrestled with Saenz outside of the jail.

The bullet went through Saenz’s left shoulder and into his chest, piercing his heart. The authorities called it an accident. They said that the guard knocked Flores as he pointed his drawn weapon, causing it to fire. They said that Saenz could have moved his cuffs to the front of his body and, with his strength, use them as a weapon. They said a taser would not suffice to subdue him.

Yes, he was struggling, but he was on the ground handcuffed. At what point is he a lethal threat to anyone?

[ED: reports that a Grand Jury declined to indict Office Jose Flores. FYI “Flores is also the El Paso cop who became the focus of national attention after giving a pair of boots and socks to a homeless man in January 2013.”]

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    • And? What does your “first” post convey? You’re in love with these pussies who need to shoot someone every time they feel nervous, in this case a handcuffed man.

    • “He got away from the police for a moment and the cop immediately draws and fires on him, killing him”

      That’s not what I saw. I saw him use his left hand to try and draw his taser, which didn’t break free. Then I saw him draw the pistol and fire it like he would have used the the taser. This is why I’ve never carried a taser on duty and never will. This looks like the BART case all over again.

      • All that matters is that at the end of his shift he went home in one piece. If you don’t agree, you hate ‘murka and you miss Osama.

        • It was murder by cop. He calmly stepped back, pulled his pistol and shot this guy. And its pretty obvious neither he nor the other cops there lost any sleep over this murder. It will be ruled a righteous shooting in the investigation and this guy will go on to do more questionable shooting, Keep your pets in the house when this guy comes around. He’ll claim your teacup poodle was going for his throat.
          And cops wonder why no one wants to see a cop come around.

          BTW The excuse he had to shoot this guy because he might be able to get the cuffs to his front is bs.

      • Winner…didn’t even read the rest of the numerous posts. Attempted to draw his taser, couldn’t, drew his Glock and shot him, holstered the Glock immediately and successfully drew his taser. Simple negligence on the cops part.

      • What made lethal force authorized?

        A weapons malfunction (failure to access the taser ) which was probably induced by this POS’ adrenalin dump – (“nothing in the Academy prepared me for this”) does not mean you are immediately cleared for “full retard”.

        There is nothing in that video that merits use of lethal force. You don’t just get to shoot everyone who is resisting. It was 2 v. 1 and the guy was in restraints. I hope this cop goes to jail forever.

    • Hard not to be anti LE after watching someone plug a handcuffed person on the ground…

      • Why would you be anti LE from watching this video? It seems like an individual was the problem here and he just happened to be an LE.

        Much like “mass shooters” that obtained their firearms legally are murderous individuals and not representative of all gun owners….

        • It’s the individual who murdered this prisoner, true enough, but it’s the police department that fought tooth and nail to keep the video from being released to the public. It’s the police department which refuses to make public the results of their internal investigation, which means a slap-on-the wrist-to-nothing done.

          The totality of the malfeasance in this case extends far beyond this murdering cop. So, no, it’s not anti-cop across the board, but it is anti-El Paso P.D. for their collective cover up of and complicity in a murder.

      • Handcuffed with his pants around his ankles and knees. Yep, he could have killed 20 people like that(yes, this is sarcasm). This is sickening. Let me guess, a perp is most dangerous with his hands cuffed behind his back and his pants around his ankles? Anybody defending this should have a mental evaluation very soon.

      • So, let me get this straight. You have a prisoner that you already know is large, very strong, and belligerent/combative. Yet somehow it fails to cross anyone’s mind that leg shackles might be a good idea? Or that more than 2 officers should be present to handle such a prisoner? Also, why, pray tell, does it appear he is being handled outside of the sally port? I call bullshit. I would be very much surprised if a number of standard procedures were not violated prior to the shooting.

        I’m further curious how exactly they could know that a taser would have been ineffective. If one had been tried previously, why were there not more officers on hand during any move? If it hadn’t been attempted, there is no factual basis for the claim. As far as a “could have” regarding the prisoner getting his hands in front of him, that is pure sophistry.

        What I see is an officer panicking and a prisoner in LE custody being shot and killed as a result of a whole host of screw-ups. I would bet money that, had proper procedure been followed, that man would still be alive. The officer should be on trial for manslaughter and the department should be sued for wrongful death.

        • Sabre,
          Manslaughter would mean it was an accident. You don’t accidentally pull your pistol, aim, squeeze off one round calmly reholster. This was an intentional act.

          The only thing that might get this guy in trouble is if he’s an illegal alien. If he is the guy is toast. Obama will be saying “If I had a son, he’d look just like this guy”.

        • I agree with DBM. That was a video of 2nd degree murder- unless there were some incredible circumstances we can’t see.

          If that was Joe Home-owner that had subdued an intruder then shot him as he sat restrained, would it be a ‘good shoot’?

          I also thought that about an illegal alien. THEN this would be an international incident. Now it’s just another instance of gang on gang violence.

        • The second one on the tape isn’t even an actual officer. He’s described as a civilian employee. Presumably that could mean he doesn’t have training in physically restraining and transporting prisoners. If that’s accurate, then we’re really just talking about one officer and a sidekick attempting to handle this massively muscular body builder with a history, as recently as that day, of assault and resistance to tasering. Sounds grossly deficient in police protocols, to me.

        • DBM, manslaughter does not mean accident.

          Never has. In fact, formerly, much of what is called murder 2 was manslaughter. Under many common law jurisdictions provocation can turn murder into manslaughter. Indeed, voluntary manslaughter (or manslaughter 1) includes malice aforethought, but there are mitigating circumstances affecting culpability (provocation being the traditional case) or a lesser intent (I intend to cause bodily harm, but not kill)

          Involuntary manslaughter would be without malice aforethought, but still (usually) includes malice in intent, implied…e.g. implied in committing another criminal act. As opposed to criminally negligent homicide (which is considered a form of involuntary manslaughter in common law, but usually called negligent homicide or similar in the states) which is closer to an accident, involving negligence or recklessness

          I don’ t know about Texas, but California law authorizes deadly force to prevent the escape of an arrestee even in citizen’ s arrest.

          • Joshua,
            Negligent manslaughter is usually only used in car accidents.

            I have to ask though about California’s use of deadly force. How is a civilian going to use deadly force on an escaping perp? They have effectively disarmed the public.

    • I know there are a lot of instances of cops wrongfully shooting people..or animals…or human animals, but after reading all the replies here and on Youtube where it was first posted, I can’t believe that I am the only one that saw Mr. Saenz grab for the cops weapon right before the shot. At 18:50 exactly, Saenz reaches back and tries to get a weapon from the officer’s duty belt. He actually gets hold of what looks like a radio and pulls it out of the holster. At this point the prisoner is trying to murder the cop.

      I hate the BS story by the police that this was an accident, that his hand was bumped causing the gun to be fired. Maybe they thought that would be an easier story to proove, but I saw the cop react to having his safety compromised by Saenz grabbing at his weapon.

      I agree with others that say this combative prisoner should have been restrained further in leg irons and waist chain. So I blame the whole force in this tragety. But ultimately, Saenz wrote his own death warrant when he planned his escape by self inflicting an injury so he would be transported, then once outside, he planned to get the cops weapon, kill him and the guard, get the cuffs off and flee. Bad plan, and far fetched but what else could he have been doing based on the video that we all saw?

      I say he got a speedy trial and execution and Saenz is ultimately responsible for his death.

      • Hope youre not a cop. You’d be inventing all kinds of excusses to execute prisoners. You probably enjoy cutting the throat of a pet like a Baltimore cops did recently. Do had it coming.

        • I did not produce or edit this video. At 18:50 Saenz rips the cops radio out of its holster. You think he wanted to radio for help? He was trying to get the cops weapon. I am not making excuses. I just call this one the way it happened. Your hatred has caused you to be biased. My point was that out of 500 + comments on two websites, not one other person mentioned this action even though at 240p, it is very clear to see if you open your eyes and get beyond the death of this thug.

          • The cop was in no danger! He steps back, tries to draw something with his left hand, then draws his gun, aims and fires! Thats called an execution. My family is either in law enforcement or medicine (Drs, RN’s, Physical Therapists) and saying I’m biased against cops is BS. Guess you think I’m biased against cops just because the Baltimore cops had a dog restrained and one of them slts its throat! Just remember thats how many murderers start out – torturing and murdering animals. Someone has to be watching the watchers and holding them accountable for criminal behavior. And any good cop (and most are) who watches this happen and say and does nothing is just as guilty.

            • You are obviously biased or else you would not bring up the dog killing in an unrelated incident. If you have such a strong case here then you would not have to use other events to sway opinion. Just state what you saw in this video and be done with it. Did you not see the prisoner grab something off the officer’s belt at 18:50? Handcuffed or not, this guy was a threat. They needed more chains on the guy, but I already said that.

              • First, the dog incident is part of an ever increasing problem with inexcusable and reckless behavior with law enforcement officers around the country. This behavior is leading to more and more fatalities of people and pets. And it’s pretty easy to take the step of shooting/killing a human after unnecessarily killing family pets. Look at how many warrants being served have resulted in innocents dying because the cops were too stupid to actually read the address on the warrant. Or those 2 cops killed in Killen TXs serving a search warrant. They came in full combat gear and trough a concussion grenade into an open window at night! Yeah the guy was a known criminal but conducting a full scale armed assault at night using grenades? WTF! The guy would have probably let them in to allow the search if they had knocked on the door!

                And yes I agree he should have been shackled both for the officer’s protection and for the prisoner’s protection but, neither the cop or nor any of the jailers showed any interest or concern in adding the additional restraints. When he capped the guy he was in no imminent danger. AND at no time did he call for assistance from officers inside the facility. Twenty years ago I was as big or bigger than this guy and I can tell you even handcuffed it wouldn’t be safe to only have cuffs on him with the attitude he had. And if he was on drugs, even more so. The worst butt whipping I ever took was from a 5’5 120lb guy who was smoking PCP. He whipped me and 5 other guys so bad it was unbelievable. So when in doubt add more chains.
                BTW, At the end of WW2 Nazi officers on trial for genecide all said “I was following orders” and being an idiot and claiming poor training isnt a defense. He willfuly aimed and shot the prisoner on the ground. And he got away with murder.

  1. Am I the only person who saw the headline and thought “did he have a gun in his hands that he had pulled out of his butt crack? “

  2. Why is he in the county jail fighting with cops? He didn’t ‘just get shot’

    Sounds like he had mental problems

    Woah, that was not what I was expecting…

    • The story I read suggested steroids and meth, not a happy combination, especially when dealing with a body builder.

      • No matter what he may have been on they had more than enough staff available to “control” him and he could have been placed in a restraint chair just as easily. My big question is why was he not placed in to a vehicle inside of the sally port and then transported? You don’t put a wild lion on a leash and take them for a walk outside why would you do it with a person who is either mentally impaired or drugged and has shown resistance and/or violence in the past.

        This was 100% avoidable by just doing a couple of things that are generally considered the proper procedure. A sally port is there for a reason and he would have had nowhere to run had he gotten up and even broken the handcuffs.

      • Well, that changes things, since the penalty for steroids and meth is DEATH… /sarc off.

        This seems to be a bad guy, who might have deserved to go to jail. Instead, he was executed.

  3. And, do note that a shot that pierced his heart did not “stop” him … he keeps on going for some time.

    And yes, let’s have another LEO feeding frenzy, since that is just so rare around these parts.

        • Which would probably be why he asked ‘do you feel the shooting was justified?’ rather than ‘WHY do you feel the shooting was justified?’.

        • Did you read McCains statement? He justifies it in the first sentence, and confirms it with his statist second sentence.

        • @TheRequimen:
          Really? I just read it as him extrapolating this data point (as cold as it sounds to reduce the death of a human to a data point) out to show that even heart trauma leaves a potential attacker able to do harm for a few moments.

    • He could’ve just as easily shot the other officer, or did you miss the part where the other officer was clearly alarmed by the shot and couldn’t get out of the way fast enough. Negligence is negligence, bad judgement is bad judgement, why are people so quick to dismiss it and so willing to not punish it?

      • Actually, if you watch the video, the other cop starts running BEFORE the shot. You can also see the shooter wave his hand in a ‘get back’ kind of movement right before the other cop starts to run. I think the shooter said ‘Move Im going to shoot him’.

    • “And, do note that a shot that pierced his heart did not “stop” him … he keeps on going for some time.”

      Your point being?

      “Hey, you just shot a deer and you don’t have a hunting permit!”

      “Well… did you notice the deer kept going for some time after I shot him?”

      • I think maybe his point was just a reminder that even a handgun round to the heart does not render someone immediately incapacitated. Not necessarily germane to the question of justification.

        • I once saw a training video (actual footage was a riot in Latin America) in which a rioter took 12-guage buckshot to the heart. He took 30 seconds to go down. Adrenaline is an amazing thing.

  4. looks like an execution, nothing self defense about this what so ever. this is just another example of horrifically undertrained law enforcement.

  5. Just didn’t see the need for lethal force definitely over reacted and I am a former cop and correction officer.

  6. In all fairness, the dead guy did make a furtive movement and the officer got home safely that night. So it’s all good.

  7. After watching the video my only question (for now) is why didn’t the cop use a taser or mace on the handcuffed dude *before* going for the lethal option?

    • I would suggest a more open mind and ask what was this prisoners end goal. What was he going to do when he got away ? Why even resist? Last question … why do I have to come up with these obvious questions for you!

      I have a question. What do you think the liklihood that if he said yes sir, no sir, walked soft, did not take a fighting stance, did not resist, did not fight etc that a cop would just walk into his cell and shoot him ?

      • Yeah… Something tells me that if Flores was an average citizen and not a cop, he would be on death row. There is no excuse for shooting an unarmed and manacled prisoner.

        • And further, why would anyone CARE?

          Pesky little Graham vs Connor tells us NONE OF THAT MATTERS. Objective reasonableness is a thing.

          The facts of a deadly force case are to be decided by what the actors knew at the time. Was a threat to life imminent or not? That’s all it boils down to, his goals to motivations don’t mean squat.

          • Motivations don’t mean squat except the motivation of the cop to shoot this guy. Look at the tape again. The jailer may have lightly brushed the cop but it was so lightly his aim point didn’t change and he didn’t pull the trigger for almost a second after the jailer brushed him.

      • I just LOVE how your high horse, where did you get it?
        Think they have anymore? Know anyone who could get me a good deal?

        “why do I have to think of these questions” or whatever drivel you said…. You aren’t doing any heavyweight thinking friend, don’t believe your own ramblings.

        The prisoners “end game” as you put it, really doesn’t matter. The prisoner’s safety is the responsibility of the state. Fact.
        The prisoner was in handcuffs (behind his back). Fact.
        The officer who did the killing had backup on hand. Fact.
        The officer did not attempt a less lethal method. Fact.

        It’s murder, any way you slice it.
        If you so much as sneeze near a cop in a bad mood, it’s assault for you.
        They can kill an unarmed, handcuffed, prone man, with a 2 to 1 advantage on him, and it’s “justified”.

    • The CLEAT report says two things: 1) this man had been tasered five times that day but continued to resist; and 2) the guard (in tan) hit the officer’s hand, causing the gun to fire. There is a :54 version of this video on Live Leak that has a still very clearly showing a contact between the guard’s left hand and the officer’s hands.

      • Wow,if that’s correct, then that report actually makes the shooting even more definitively unwarranted. If the man really was that much of a problem, the police should have had multiple officers on hand for any move, the prisoner should have been restrained with more than handcuffs, and he damn sure should not have been outside the sally port.

        The officer still had his weapon drawn and his finger on the trigger, or bumping the shooter’s hand would have done nothing. Considering the prisoner was still on the ground at the time the weapon was drawn and fired, the officer overreacted and a man is dead because of it. Even if you call the discharge accidental, it is still a wrongful death and the department needs to be held accountable.

        • I wonder if it’s cruel/unusual to simply use a tranquilizer dart through the cell bars prior to transporting an inmate known to be a significant physical risk.

          I mean, if it’s good enough for dangerous lions and tigers, why not dangerous humans?

      • So the guard hit his hand knocking the officer’s finger from the ready position into the trigger guard and then, in a second separate opposing motion, causing him to full press a LEO standard Glock trigger (i.e. at least normal weight if not more).

        In summary, he either had sh*tty trigger discipline or was going to shoot him anyway.

  8. Search all lists of “Gun Violence Victims” put out by Bloomberg’s groups dated after this incident for the name “Daniel Saenz”.

  9. So much for the “force continuum”, eh, ladies n’ germs?

    Dude was handcuffed on the ground. ‘Nuff said. Not a good shoot by any stretch of the imagination, not that it matters because bad behavior is rarely punished.

    And the beat goes on.

      • No it’s not. Excedrine did not say it is. Introducing straw men does not help the dialog.

        I am curious as to how one might justify deadly force on a handcuffed subject. Ability, opportunity and jeopardy. Which of those three did the subject have?

        There are levels of force the cops should have had available to subdue a struggling suspect, especially if already handcuffed. Prick-24’s not in use anymore? Other baton? Pepper / OC?

        Gotta say I can’t see this going well for the cop involved.

        • You should really take up reading from start to finish before you yap on.

          You said ” No it’s not. Excedrine did not say it is. Introducing straw men does not help the dialog.”

          But Excedrine said “So much for the “force continuum”, eh, ladies n’ germs?”

          Then you said “Gotta say I can’t see this going well for the cop involved.”

          Yet, if you had read the full post you would have seen this “[ED: reports that a Grand Jury declined to indict Office Jose Flores.”

          I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt here. I doubt you worked a day in law enforcement. I doubt you paid much attention past the video. I doubt you read the full comments before posting – somehow in 13 comment you missed my one at the top of the page. I doubt you’re sober this friday evening and that would explain your lack of reading skills, not once, not twice, but three times…..

        • Geez, the Internet is so much fun.

          “I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt here. I doubt you worked a day in law enforcement. I doubt you paid much attention past the video. I doubt you read the full comments before posting – somehow in 13 comment you missed my one at the top of the page. I doubt you’re sober this friday evening and that would explain your lack of reading skills, not once, not twice, but three times…..”

          (1) Then you’d be wrong; I have years in law enforcement. Been in court on a whole heap of felony cases, including murders and rapes. Been a qualified expert in more than a few, too.

          So, maybe you should assume less, open your mind and really TRY to understand what is being said by others and keep the knee jerking to a minimum.

          (2) I was speaking of the wrongful death suit that is very likely going to happen and will very likely be won by the plaintiff, or settled in a manner that it might as well be.

          (3) Drinking accusation and reading comprehension insults?

          The maturity of your comment makes me really hope YOU are not in LE if that is evidence of (a) your people skills and (b) your deductive powers.

          (4) Excedrine never said the use of force continuum was a ladder to be climbed stepwise. You wrongly assumed that was his point.

          If you think that’s what he was staying, you are grossly wrong.

          He was saying that there was points along the continuum which would have been more appropriate in this case because deadly force was NOT justified.

          And he’s correct.

          You might try some objective, analytical thought.

          Please fling your retarded insults somewhere else; I’m not interested in trying to have a serious discussion on this topic with someone speaking at the level of an adolescent boy.

        • You’re not too bright and you don’t read before you post. You’re typical of the average commenter here who has a 10 second attention span and misses the critical details that are written in the story. Please, keep going. It’s great entertainment.

        • I see. Another ‘drive by.’ Not a single word about other force options besides the gun, only personal insults.

          It does fit a certain pattern…

      • 1) “I feel threatened”

        2) “full retard”

        That about it, Dano?

        Wish we had that ROE in the sandbox.

  10. Yeah, I don’t know. Belligerent people get shot because they fight the police. The cops shouldn’t shoot you, but, you know, you shouldn’t fight the cops. Here is a video that I saw a while back, with a breakdown by some trained martial artists as to why it was it was a good shoot (unless of course you insist that all police also train to be world class martial artists.)

    Not saying the two incidents are the same, just… saying.

    • That shooting you posted is completely justified. If I am on the ground getting my head beaten in I am clearing leather. Now, if the guy had been handcuffed first….

      • lol if he had been handcuffed first you should probably check his butt!
        (sorry I had to)

    • Surrender or kill, those are your only choices. So when the time comes, boys and girls, don’t hesitate, strike hard and violently. They won’t show you a ounce of mercy, so return the courtesy.

  11. I see absolutely no justification whatsoever for that policeman to even draw his handgun much less shoot the prisoner. The guard and the policeman had the prisoner pinned to the ground … the prisoner whose hands were cuffed behind his back and nowhere near any weapons that could threaten anyone.

    Perhaps the policeman was justified to use OC (pepper) spray or maybe even a baton, but had absolutely no business drawing his handgun. That right there was a murder.

  12. Oh well. They do that to peoples pets that are doing nothing but wagging their tails, so why should a handcuffed suspect be any different. Officer safety you know!

      • Actually, yeah.

        It sure as hell does confirm my bias against many of the man(child) types that play cop. They are so scared of everything that they just grab that glock and start squeezing off rounds until they feel safe.
        Or the other type that is out for a power trip, and an adrenaline rush.

        Of course, there is the third type who are great guys, we could use more of them.

    • Well clearly a non-violent dog that is already restrained was a threat to his safety. The important thing is that the officer got to feel tough for a few seconds and then went home safely.

    • It’s about the officer being able to show the public “If I can do this to your pet, I can do it to you.”

      Which is what the whole “police shooting dogs” thing is about. It’s about instilling control and fear. They know they can get away with it, so there is no risk to them, and they get to “teach someone a lesson”.

  13. Someone tell me, given where this happened, why did they just not ask for more assistance? Is this this a macho thing?

    I am shocked that a grand jury could watch this and give him a pass.

  14. Seems like the guy was perfectly happy being dragged around and only got angry when the guards insisted that he get on his feet and walk. In hindsight, they should have just continued to drag him where ever he was going.

  15. I can’t defend the cops actions but a relative of mine with mental issues went berserk in the house with his wife. She called the police. He’s small, about 160 lbs. five cops went in, one came out and refused to go back in. Quickly – 1/2 hour later, the 4 cops appeared to sort of have him under control. No drugs, just superhuman strength from a mental condition.
    Another time I went to a county jail to pick him up. The three deputies who he beat up were there, bloodied but still standing. They had to give him a concussion to slow him down. . . . . .which I appreciated. He’s still alive, much calmer and happy with plenty of help. THEY DID NOT SHOOT HIM.
    Cops spend too much time with low life’s and the mentally ill. The courts will always support cops, usually with good reason.
    This is an issue of training.
    Glad I’m not a cop.
    Have I mentioned the police will kill you?

    • I have a family member in the same situation. The cops did their job and nobody was shot. This is the outcome most of expect. There are cases when deadly force is needed, but the reality is many mentally ill are shot by the police.

      • That’s true, and the police are a poor tool for society to equip to try and deal with the problem of mental disturbance.

    • “No drugs, just superhuman strength from a mental condition.”

      That just simply is not how the human body works.
      Adrenaline can only do so much, a malformed brain, or psychotic issues can cause an adrenaline rush, or increase your will to fight, but it does not increase your actual physical strength.

      It can cause you to be able to temporarily push your muscles and joints past the point where your preservation instincts would kick in to limit excess wear and tear on tissues, but a mental condition can, in no way, increase actual physical strength.

  16. Clearly a bad shoot, keep him contained and call for backup. I’m sure a dozen people could have responded in less than a minute.

    However, in other reports I read the man was tazed 5 times previously with no effect. Bath salts are a hell of a drug.

  17. The fact that the grand jury refused to indict this murderer is almost as disgusting as this cop’s cowardly, outrageous crime.

  18. Watch the hands, folks… I had to watch it twice very closely to see it, but the detainee has two or three sets of cuffs on (common practice with oversized subjects), and plenty of range of motion…immediately before the officer pops back and draws, the subject twists his body and makes a potentially effective weapon grab attempt. Most LE training will instill a “if they reach for your weapon, use lethal force” mindset. I know its not popular around here, but this looks like a good shoot. Probably not a necessary shoot, but likely within the reasonable officer standard. Remember to watch the hands.

    • You’ve hit this one dead f**kin’ on. 18:52. Perps hands were all the way around front at dick level. Homeboy had plenty of reach to grab anything.
      There are all kinds of civilian shoots many times grayer than this and everyone here was singing their praises.
      A guy last year in atlanta shot a robber IN THE BACK as he was fleeing after trying to hold up everyone in line for the new Jordans. Triggerman got back in line for his shoes and he’s a hero. Throw a badge on that same asshole and now it’s “rabble rabble something or other the state, man!” Hypocrisy is what it is.

      • If one volunteers to work as an agent of government to draw that paycheck; he operates under privilege and is expected to observe a much higher level of restraint while following proper procedures and training (none of which is supposed to violate constitutions). Apples and oranges. These agents of government were responsible for the reasonable safety and rights of their prisoner. They failed at their appointed task.

      • Say what you will. If that cop was a soldier, and that detainee was an Iraqi, the cop would be in confinement and probably on his way to Leavenworth.

        They did not take appropriate actions to control the detainee. They failed to control the detainee. Their failure to control the detainee led to the shooting.

        That’s negligence.

        There is no way lethal force was authorized in that situation. But thanks for playing.

    • The hands don’t matter here folks.
      Watch the murder.

      Three handcuffs?
      From the behind the back position I doubt any human would EVER be able to break through two at once. Three is just foolish.

      Anyhow, this guy wasn’t breaking the cuffs, and with all the flopping around I doubt it makes any sense to say what he may or may not have been reaching for. Doubtful it was the pistol.

      Facts remain, he shot an unarmed, handcuffed, prone prisoner. He had backup on hand, and more just a shout away.

      • Just a point of clarification. The cuffs were chained together to make them longer. He didn’t have three pairs of cuffs lined up his arms. There was one set on one wrist, a second set on the other, and one on the middle to attach the two.

        • Linking up cuffs in a chain is commonly needed for body builders and obese people. When your lats and tri’s get built up you can’t get your arms back far enough to be cuffed.

        • Who put on the cuffs? So the cops “armed” him, and then killed him because he was dangerous because he was “armed”. Unbeluck1nlievable.

  19. If only there was SOME WAY to avoid being shot and killed while handcuffed and fighting with the police after being arrested for assaulting an off-duty cop.

    Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

  20. What a crappy video. Maybe my iPhone isn’t rendering it well. Looks like a dirty shoot to me. The bad guy fought the police intermittently, but did not ever constitute a lethal threat. I would have cuffed this guy and tied up his legs. It’s really the only way to deal with fighters like this. Either that or handcuffed to a gurney.

    The cop may have confused his gun with a Taser under stress. That obviously doesn’t justify the shoot. I typically don’t carry a Taser on-duty, which is borderline against policy. A Taser combined with leg restraints and a spit sock over the noggin would be appropriate. I’d double cuff him to a wheelchair for transport to his cell and place him in solitary confinement.

    My 2 cents.

  21. After dragging his sorry azz for 18 minutes, they were fatigued and feared losing control of him. No thug-love here. They wanna put themselves in that situation… Then deal with the consequences.

  22. Homeless guy on a hill, guy off his med’s in a driveway, black man checks his car at night, two higher educated white guys with badges unload on him, but he lived. State condone murder. What do you expect? Legislators infringed via ink on paper and deny citizens lawful self protection. Uniforms with badges do the killing, then write reports and buracrates let them go. Serve themselves, protect their pensions, and sport killing fellows citizens any chance they get.

  23. And they fvcking declined indictment…. how is that even possible? Did they watch the same video I just watched?

    • Are you really surprised that the government declined to press charges against a government thug executing unarmed and bound people “in the line of duty”? I sure as hell am not surprised.

      • Only the Grand Jury isn’t “the government”–it is twelve ordinary citizens, just like a jury in a trial. Haven’t watched the vid, so I can’t say whether I’m surprised or not, but in general a Grand Jury is to function as “the conscience of the community”, to either support, or restrain, the “government” as the community at large would deem appropriate.

        • They do what the prosecutor tells them to. They will indict (or acquit) a ham sandwich if the prosecutor does their job.

  24. Another fine “bad cop no donut” piece from Robert Farago…The Truth About How I Hate Cops!

    Bad shoot. Looks like he was going for the TASER and brought out the GLOCK instead. Failure to Train, maybe some other issues there. Would be interested to see what that officers personnel record looks like.

    HOWEVER, unlike our glorious leader here, I see no premeditated foul play. I see a dumbass officer who in the heat of panic grabbed the wrong GAT. Definitely a career ender, but no murder there. Manslaughter….? Maybe…

    • After watching again after reading a few of the comments similiar to yours, I completely agree it doesnt look pre-meditated as he definitely went for something other than the gun first, but there is no greater shit sandwich.

    • Bullshit. If any of us lowly peasants “made a mistake” and used a gun instead of a non-lethal weapon, we’d spend the rest of our life in jail for murder. This scum should face the same, even if it honestly was an accident – because that’s exactly what would happen to one of use. This bullshit of police being above the law needs to end, NOW.

    • Right, it wasn’t premeditated, so…. what, exactly?

      I suppose the farts and sneezes that people have been beaten and arrested for, then been charged with assault of a LEO… I suppose those are all premeditated too, right?

  25. Playing stupid games with stupid people gets stupid prizes. That goes for both parties involved.

  26. At no point was the officer, or anyone else, facing a lethal threat. The suspect was not a threat. That video is going to convict him of manslaughter, at the least. It is also going to cost his city several million dollars.

  27. That was the most pathetic CPR I’ve seen since the last nursing home code I ran. Not that it would have made a bit of difference in this case, but damn guys.

  28. Publius: the fact that his case was presented to a grand jury means that the government saw fit to charge him with a crime. Grand juries, like all other juries, are made up of citizens. The point is that, while YOU may believe the officer is guilty based on the video evidence, a large group of his peers disagreed. Dozens of Police officers face charges and are sent to jail every year. I’m not saying every bad cop gets his due, but in this case the government did it’s job. Want to blame someone? Blame the citizens who declined to indict him at Grand jury.

    • Because we all know that jury members are never threatened or tampered with in any way…

      We have clear, video evidence of him executing an unarmed and handcuffed man. If he was anyone but a government employee, he’d be in jail starting a life sentence / headed to death row right now.

      • Tampering? Come on.

        As to the ‘government employee’ I suspect the decision had a lot more to do with their opinion of the dead guy than the shooter.

    • Grand Juries do what the DA tells them to. They will indict (or acquit) a ham sandwich if the prosecutor does their job.

  29. Ok I watched this about a dozen times at the 20 second mark from the officer firing. I see a guy struggling with two cops,a manages to get a handful of pants a good 6 inches below the holster. I don’t see a attempted gun grab. I think it’s excessive use of force. But that’s my opinion. Yours may differ.

  30. Accident. Bad choice to pull the gun, but accident none the less. End result is the same, regardless of motive. He should be tried on all the facts.

  31. Sorry Publius. I thought I was entering into a conversation with a reasonable individual; I misjudged you. You’re right, every police department has specially trained officers who do nothing all day but intimidate juries and citizens who would dare hold police officers accountable.

  32. It seems like the cop was no longer committed to the fight and just wanted to end it.

  33. Phil: they attempted to “try him on all the facts”, but a grand jury of his peers disagreed. The officer screwed up, the government presented charges to the grand jury, and there was a no bill. The American legal system did it’s job.

    • Letting murders off the hook when you have rock solid video evidence of the murder being committed is not the “American legal system [doing] it’s job”. That’s government employees being above the law and allowed to do whatever they want with no consequences.

      I highly doubt I need to ask the question, but what is it that you do for a living, Brandon?

      • The prisoner was experiencing “roid rage.” The epitome of super human strength and a brain intent on violence. There should have been several more officers handling him, even after trying to sedate him in the ER. The 2 cops faced the Kobi Maru!

        • 2 cops and one meathead body builder is in no way a Kobeyashi Maru, this is ENTIRELY a defeatable scenario, not a last stand 🙂

  34. GJ might have factored in totality of circumstances: guy was a weight lifter, on bath salts, had already been tased several times that day to no effect and was known to be able to slip rear cuffs….

    “The video does not show an important event that happened earlier in the day,” Jopling said in the CLEAT statement. “When Mr. Saenz was in his holding cell at the Pebble Hills Regional Command Center, he was observed moving his cuffed hands from behind his body to the front of his body. This is called ‘fronting’ his cuffs. Mr. Saenz, who was in bare feet, put his shoes on and, when finished, moved his handcuffs back behind his body. Mr. Saenz did this with great agility and speed.

    “In the video, Officer Flores first reaches for his Taser. However, he decides not to deploy his Taser because he knew that Mr. Saenz — also earlier that same day — had undergone five cycles of the Taser device, without effect. He had been Tased earlier in the day after he assaulted a police officer and other people at the hospital where he was being evaluated.”


    • If the guy had his hands in front of him and/or was on his feet, I would have personally put the guy down myself had I been there. If the cops had given him 10 more seconds, that very well may have come to pass and we wouldn’t be discussing it. As they like to say on this blog ‘imminentness is imminent’. At the time he was shot, the man was in no way shape or form an imminent threat to anyone other than possibly himself. That is the difference between a justified homicide and a crime.

    • Fronting cuffs is not some feat of strength or agility, anyone not old or very overweight can do it.

    • “had undergone five cycles of the Taser device, without effect…”

      I am very suspicious of this statement being true in a literal sense. Tasers work on involuntary muscular contractions- emphasis on ‘involuntary’. It’s physiologically not something you can just brave through when the probes are properly applied and the device is in working order. That or the literature on tasers is simply wrong.

      • Yea I recall quite a few videos where a large male in training for MIL/LEO gets dropped to the ground with a taser as like you said, it causes an involuntary reaction in your muscles. I had a buddy use a stun gun on me one night being a dumbass, I can only imagine what the real tazer with the prongs feels like.

        • It’s possible what they meant was that he got up after the shock wore off. That is certainly possible, and it’s why police are supposed to move in and start controlling someone while they’re being zapped.

  35. ROID RAGE! At least on the local news they reported that part, then visited some local stores to show FDA banned junk on the shelves. He was arrested for beating the ER and security staff at the hospital. He was still out of control. Somebody was going to die no matter what. I’ve worked ER’s all over the country, including 5 years here in El Paso. El Paso cops are the most professional force I’ve seen, short of the TX rangers. Death is always a tragedy, but there was no good outcome coming out of this. Sometimes in life you have to settle for the least bad outcome. Flame me if you feel the need, but thankfully this time it wasn’t me helping the cops.

  36. Publius: Again, this officer’s fellow citizens let him off the hook. The outcome has nothing to do with the police or the government…people like you and me sat there and watched the video, heard some testimonial evidence, and no billed it. The same happens to non cops who should be in jail thousands of times per year. That’s our legal system. It isn’t perfect, but it’s all we’ve got.

    I am a garbage man, BTW.

  37. Wow…”accidental murder” maybe?!? If Rodney King happened today he’d be a dead man. I worked in a state facility for the developmentally disabled many years ago. Most of the residents were also quite disturbed & heavily drugged. We ( sometimes just ME} were able to subdue some LARGE MEN WITHOUT KILLING THEM. No guns, tasers or pepper spray…and never leave a mark. This cop is criminal and inept. Whatever…defend him if you want.

  38. I’m not an LE so shooting is my last resort because I like life on the outside.

    So if I were restraining a guy in cuffs for a good reason, my first choice would be to throw a blanket over him, and maybe yank his pants down around his ankles so he couldn’t run away.

    Then I would grab a cup of coffee while the offender works off a little energy, blindly kicking around on the floor.

    Of course, its a given that I’ve got the upper hand or I wouldn’t have him in cuffs.

    • It’s also a given that you can come up with clever ideas now instead of at the moment with an adrenaline dump going on.

      • Anybody can think of good ideas in an emergency if you practice thinking in situations before they become emergency situations; if you are too possessed by fear to think clearly you should, for your own sake, reconsider having deadly force available. That’s why, unstable emotions, alcohol, and guns are a bad mix. Leave that to cooler heads.

        If the shooter was not an LEO his life would have changed with that pull of the trigger. Practice thinking how to get out of situations where, if you are not LEO, or otherwise ‘licensed to kill’, you can minimize your risk of state entanglements.

        A screwdriver was held up to my throat in a robbery attempt against me. I stayed cool and convinced the mugger that if he pushed the screwdriver, it wouldn’t kill me, but that I would definitely kill him.

        He left. I didn’t shoot him. I didn’t have to do a police report. I didn’t have to go to jail. My gun never came out.

      • There’s so much wrong with that I don’t even know where to start.

        Avoiding incorrect instinctual responses is why you train, train, train. That’s what that whole “Academy” thing is about.

        An “adrenaline dump” from someone in a profession where that happens ALL THE D@MN TIME excuses nothing.

  39. So the idiots just couldn’t step back and take a defensive position and draw their tasers. Just where the hell did they think he was going to run to while being cuffed? So the grand jury thinks the LEO did NOTHING wrong? Nothing?

    Can’t they try another grand jury? Maybe they’ll get a grand jury with an IQ over room temp?

      • It may be represented to the grand jury, as is often the case (in the very rare instances where grand juries are even used) if new evidence comes to light. He may not be tried for the same crime twice. A grand jury, and much more frequently a preliminary hearing, is only to determine whether a trial is warranted (remember before professional prosecutors, anyone could bring charges, the grand jury was the body that sniffed it and saw if it was even reasonable to have a trial)

        As a side, does Texas regularly use grand juries? Most states don’t, heck some don’t even have them. In California the grand jury’s main job is to monitor the government for corruption…preliminary hearings, where a judge decided, are the standard now. I case you were thinking “but fifth amendment!” that part is not incorporated and hence applies only to federal cases.

        • Wake up call here. Since the cop wasn’t charged with a crime he can still be charged with the murder later if new evidence surfaces or a prosecutor that wants to do his job takes up the case. Its only double Jeopardy if he is charged and goes to trial.

  40. Doesn’t look like reasonable fear of death or grievous bodily harm to me… If a “normal civilian” did that, they’d be in jail in a heartbeat….

  41. I was expecting to see a cut and dry bad shoot here like BART incident.

    What I saw watching the video at .25 speed was:
    -Officer tries to draw his Taser 33:16
    -While officer is trying to unholster Taser, Saenz grabs at officers handgun 33:18. You can see the officer trying to pull away and Saenz’s unclothed arm attached to the officer’s hip and drag down his pant leg on camera two about the same time the radio goes flying out on camera perspective one.
    -Officer ditches the Taser and draws his handgun after Saenz loses his grip.
    Other officer falls backward and his left arm strikes the drawn handgun which has far more muzzle flip than one would expect with a duty handgun unless he is shooting full power 10mm or something.

    Poor trigger control is my vote, but in a fight wearing gloves after fighting with the guy for a period of time, its hard to blame him.

    • EPPD supply their own Glocks, and some do carry 10mm. Kudos for the time you put in instead of a rush to judgment. I don’t know this officer. I weigh 300 pounds and have been thrown like a leaf by this kind of patient while 5 of us were trying to restrain him.

    • That’s how I saw it too. He went for the taser and it got hung up. He pulled the gun thinking the guy was about to get to his feet and due to finger on the trigger and adrenaline it went off.

      To those bashing the outcome; the jury was presented all the evidence, including this video I’m sure. Legal procedure may or may not have allowed certain exhibits. Anybody who has served jury duty in a case like this understands it is a big deal. They give it their best and cast their vote based on all the presented evidence, and only on the evidence. Give the jury a break; they showed up and did their duty.

  42. Monday morning QB it all you want. I saw the prisoner trying to bite tan shirt’s finger off, just before he broke free and black shirt fired the shot.

    I won’t say he’s right or wrong. I wasn’t there in any of their shoes.

    However, the “official story” is total BS.

  43. To me that was sick(in the bad sense of the word). An execution, nothing more and nothing less.

  44. Wow, I must be one of the few here.

    But my belief is if you are in a jail or even being arrested by police then you should damn well comply because they are armed and in a position of authority and maybe a little scared themselves .. in my honest opinion the only person who caused this incident was the prisoner

    • So, if you are a belligerent a-hole, the penalty is death??

      That sounds like what the antis say about us all the time…that we will pull out our CCW’s and kill people just for being rude in line at the coffee shop or someone did not use their blinker on the highway.

      It’s a crap argument when they say it about us. Now you are saying it’s okay if it is the cops doing the shooting?

      Got it.

      • Yeah, I guess ery and carry.45 are members of the North Korean extermination camp leadership academy.

        • Long before the Jews were rounded up and killed by the Nazi’s, hitlers people began cleaning out the hospitals of old, cronically ill, mentally retarded, mentally ill, handicapped etc. They wanted to bed space empty for the wounded soldiers expected to be coming soon.

          Towards the end of the program they executed patients that nurses considered a pain in the ass. So now it seems in El Paso lazy cops who don’t want to do their jobs can just off people who dial 911 or perps that aren’t fully compliant. The leadership has probably directed officers to make sure there are no cameras around before performing the deed.

  45. Wow!!! I call Bullshit. They had that guy on the ground in handcuffs. Where was the need for lethal force? A tazer gun would have been more than sufficient.

    I say ring this cop up on charges.

  46. Murder….plain and simple. Difficult to make a case for 1st degree but 2nd degree….NO PROBLEM.
    A WILLFUL act that led to the death of a man IN HANDCUFFS who posed absolutely NO THREAT to
    anyone. The badgemonkey needs to hang. The DA that refused to charge him needs to be tarred and feathered then run out of town on a rail and the brain donors on the grand (sic) jury need to be institutionalized for being grossly mentally incompetent.

    The use of a weapon….ANY WEAPON against the person in handcuffs CANNOT POSSIBLY BE JUSTIFIED. Weapon are ONLY for self defense and this man with his hands cuffed behind his back and ON THE GROUND POSED NO THREAT. And I don’t give a rats ass if he intended to use his taser
    or not…..the use of the taser cannot be justified EITHER. If you have a man in cuffs who is uncooperative you DON’T KILL HIM….you go get some more people to help you. IT’S JUST THAT

  47. Just as you cannot beat a handcuffed prisoner you certainly cannot shoot a handcuffed prisoner. This is clearly a major mistake by the transporting officer. This prisoner who was combattive should have been transported with either a belly belt and shackles or a blackbox and shackles.

  48. He may have been handcuffed but he was still able to get his left hand out in front of his body. He was still able to grab some item off the officer is black’s belt. He was still trying to grab something off the officer in brown’s belt.

  49. As much as I dislike cops, I don’t think it’s very wise to fight with them unless they are acting extra legally and constitute a danger. The time to fight is in court. That is what civilization is all about.

    No tears should be shed here at all.

  50. The pre-amble to the event, I don’t agree with. Known to be unphased by prior tasings, tripping, of significant size/strength,demonstrated prior ability to slip cuffed arms forward,… Why were there only two officers to transport him? I would disagree with allowing two officers to deal with one capable perp. As noted in other posts, a tripping suspect can and has demonstrated the ability to momentarily demonstrate super strength.

    Drawing on a handcuffed, on the ground perp, I can’t quite forgive in this armchair analysis. I can propose all sorts of prevenative actions like more officers, belly belt, wheelchair bound over dragging/walkng, etc….

    The grand jury excused this. That’s the legal system at work. They made their choice and it’s over. That is the flipside of our freedom – letting judge and jury make the final call.

    Rather than fixate on the incident, change the proceedures that lead up to such a situation becoming what it was.

  51. Be careful, police fight with him all day, he resisted and screwed with them all day. Things build on both sides and there is a breaking point!

    This is an officer that has done great things and has helped many people. Interacting with him as a normal person obviously is a pleasure. But society and the cop haters have made this boy take out the trash too long and look what happens.

    Did anyone notice the other prisoner, he did what they aked him to do and he is safe. Wake up he was in jail already, for conduct society has decided is unacceptable. Get in line or get off the bus.

    The real problem is that the off duty or just plain taxpayer he assaulted earlier didn’t get to smoke him. I bet this guy was popular in his town.

    • getting frustrated with a prisoner is one thing.

      shooting him is another.

      No argument the prisoner was likely a total a$$hat douche, but that doesn’t justify killing him.

    • “But society and the cop haters have made this boy take out the trash too long and look what happens.”

      Personal Accountability, I imagine he also chose his profession and wasnt forced into it.

    • Guss, Your argument is flawed. So what if this guy had been a pain all day. If a NG soldier shots someone because they didn’t like someone at a demonstration its murder. A soldier does it and its a war crime. The really sad thing is cops are losing their jobs and some doing time – FOR KILLING PETS! Yet for a cop to murder someone in his charge he will get told he’s a bad boy.

  52. the officer was in no danger when he shot the prisoner.

    Yeah, it appears prisoners can be difficult, but that doesn’t mean you get to shoot them. (Maybe tune ’em up a little).

    Clear-cut murder. If local authorities aren’t pressing charges, then the state or Feds should.

  53. The first rule of survival is to understand your environment. I don’t fault the cop because the prisoner chose to become violent but I do fault the method used to transport the prisoner who should have been shackled as well as cuffed and constrained in a wheeled transport rather than dragged. Additionally the prisoner should have always had two guards present at every stage of the transport. It’s a management problem.

  54. “They said that Saenz could have moved his cuffs to the front of his body and, with his strength, use them as a weapon.”

    Hey, I can do that too:

    They said that the licensed gun-owner could have drawn his weapon and shot the officer.
    They said that the licensed driver could have stepped on the gas and run over the officer.
    They said that the licensed daycare operator could have picked up a toddler and beat the officer.

    See, easy.

    • If the officer had drawn his firearm with that fear I could kinda understand (though tactically unsound in my opinion, based on the video).

      But once you dump 500 ft/lb of kinetic lead energy into someone I think the threat needs to be greater than wholly hypothetical…

      (and yes I know you weren’t being serious)

  55. The officer appeared to be trying (unsuccessfully) to get to a less-lethal weapon on the left side of his belt and then gave up and transitioned to his handgun. Even if I believe the discharge was not willful, I cannot understand his decision to draw a firearm at that moment. Doing so drastically limited his and his partner’s options, as bringing a gun into play makes grappling exceedingly dangerous.

  56. I see a cop try to pull his taser. Can’t do it (for some reason). Decided to pull his pistol. Decided to point it at the person on the ground. And Decided to pull the trigger.

    Sorry but I see Manslaughter. Vol or InVol up to debate.

  57. It did look like an unintentional shot, but it didn’t look like it was because the officer was “knocked” by the bodybuilder. It looked like the cop had his booger hook negligently on the bang switch. To say nothing of the fact that the gun shouldn’t have been drawn…

  58. I didn’t see any of this “Calmly stepped back and committed murder” BS some of you obviously-biased people are claiming to see. In fact I think this might have been another accident where he tried to get his tazer and came up with his pistol… looked an awful lot like he was surprised he shot the guy then went for the tazer like, damn what i really wanted to get in my hands was the tazer… why else would he taze the shot guy?

    and you know, if you don’t want this to happen don’t fight with the cops, it’s as simple as that. im not a cop but I’m not an idiot either.

  59. I wish I had all the evidence presented to the grand jury but based on what I can see this is either murder or negligent man slaughter (depending on whether the officer intended to shoot or not).

    I hope if I have to shoot someone I get this grand jury, and allow me to take a brief tour of the ‘facts’ of that hypothetical case in light of this one.

    My friend and I summon police to the sidewalk in front of my home. At the scene they note a man, dead of a single gunshot would, handcuffed, pants around his ankles and showing bruises, cuts and scrapes as if he were involved in prolonged altercation. My friend and I state that we were attempting to detain the man but eventually had to employ deadly force as we could not control him and he posed an imminent deadly threat to us. Forensics shows the man was shot one in the back while laying prone on the ground. Investigation reveals that I was hosting a party and had 20 healthy friends just inside the house armed with batons and pepper spray, all of whom had sworn a duty to assist me but that I failed to summon them to assist.

    Even allowing that the detention was legal (since that isn’t a disputed fact in the above case), without the grand jury in question or some salient fact that we don’t have access to, I’d be on my way to trial for murder. Now, I’m not so dense as to fail to understand that while I could simply let the man run away the officer(s) are expected to confront and detain him, I’m also fairly sure that shooting him to prevent his escape isn’t one of the prescribed methods of detaining an unarmed and bound prisoner.

    Another curve ball. I’ve yet to see a jail where an officer can carry his sidearm. It’s part of the purpose of a sally port, to demarcate the armed ‘street’ from the disarmed ‘jail’. Locally this is done by the officer securing his sidearm in the trunk of his car before extracting the prisoner from the vehicle. The jailers don’t carry guns and the street officer isn’t armed, ergo, there is no gun to grab for and no need for lethal force. I suspect that, plus attempting to move a highly agitated and physically capable subject with insufficient personnel were both violations of policy, though I don’t claim to know what their policy is. If it doesn’t somehow violate policy, I submit that the policy needs review in light of this incident.

    Last I checked, justification of lethal force requires a credible imminent threat of death or great bodily harm. In this case, if there were a credible threat, why wasn’t backup summoned? Why weren’t strikes used? Why attempt to move the man with only two officers? What changed from the grappling at 18:45 in the video evidence to the shooting at 18:55 that escalated this bound, prone prisoner from a common annoyance of police work to a lethal threat?

    I’m inclined to think that the shooting was accidental though the drawing of the pistol is itself questionable in purpose and intent. I wonder if the officer(s) involved testified before the grand jury to this effect? It’s the only mitigating circumstance I can conceive from the limited evidence presented here against a charge of murder.

  60. Seems like these two cops were really scared so took man too back room and wasted his ass, pure simple SS style Murder, man dead cop walks, this happens more and more, the Police should be under a serious policy on the use of Deadly force, in stead oh you were a bad boy don’t do it too many more times!

    • Yeah I’m sure they planned to kill the guy… in an area conspicuously covered by continuous cameras… instead of doing it twenty feet away outside their range.

  61. I feel no sympathy for the dead guy. Why was he arrested in the first place…for assault. Why was he being taken to the hospital when the shooting happened….for bashing his own head into a wall. Why was he continuing to struggle…probably because he was “roid raging”. He might not have deserved to be shot but he certainly was asking for it. Maybe the L.E. who shot him should be relieved of his job but one less asshole will be running around because of him.

    • “He might not have deserved to be shot but he certainly was asking for it. “

      Sounds a lot like “She might not have deserved to be raped but she certainly was asking for it.”

      So, to tally up the score here, past behaviors justify specific violent responses.

      So, a woman that is a stripper or prostitute gets the sh&t beat out her, stabbed and raped deserved it because of what she was doing an hour ago.

      The dude may have been a scumbag, but at that moment, he was presenting no justification for deadly force. Say what you want about about if the officer shot him accidentally or whatever, but to justify it on the basis of the victim being a jerk is a very, very dangerous slippery slope to be on. Maybe we should just start executing prisoners rather pre-trial to save money on the expense of trying them?

      Or, I guess due process and all those other darn enumerated rights in the Bill of Rights are just there because the Founders had some extra ink and paper they weren’t doing anything with.

  62. First, I don’t know why he drew on him. Second, the report of an accidental discharge does match the description of the incident, the prison guard moves away, likely when the officer says he’s going to draw his weapon, and in moving away bumps the outside of his hand and immediately after you can see the muzzle flash.

    I can’t comment on the wisdom of drawing on a cuffed/down prisoner but the discharge does look accidental.

    • I think you mean negligent discharge not accidental discharge…. LE like us regular folk who carry have to be held to a standard. He was carrying a Glock, the gun did not go off he negligently pulled the trigger..

      • I’d say goes from negligent to accidental when you (a) are drawing down on someone and (b) get impacted by an external force (like someone smacking you in the hand). It’s a lot different than someone just cleaning their gun and blowing their toe off.

        Now, whether he should have drawn the gun at all is another issue to me…

  63. I love how the cops continue handcuffing him and then try CPR minutes after he is dead when the paramedics arrive. Unnecessary shooting but one less piece of scum on earth.

    • I agree with your opinion of one less scumbag but since when have we relegated the power of “Judge Jury and Executioner” to a cop. Especially one with a HS education.

  64. It’s pathetic to watch this cowardice officer kill a handcuffed individual on the ground (struggling or not). It is equally pathetic to listen to you all deeply explore all possible justifications for this obvious murder. Maybe you should watch the video again?

  65. I see a LOT of ignorance of the law and a lot of comments that make me hope many of you never sit on a jury.

    Grand jury failed to indict. DA cannot simply bring a case to court. A prelimnary hearing or grand jury indictment is required to protect against malicious prosecution.

    Grand jury proceedings are incredibly biased to prosecute. They have a lot of power to subpoena, call witnesses and compel them to testify even without a lawyer, accused has no rights to a defense or even to know about the proceedings.

    Manslaughter does not mean unintentional.

    Unless duly convicted and sentenced to death, no one may be intentionally killed lawfully. Self-defense is about stopping the threat, not killing.

    While much rarer in Texas than California which I am more familiar with, there is a provision of imperfect self defense. If one honestly but wrongly believes one or more of the conditions involved in justified self-defense, then the charge would be manslaughter even if it was an intentional killing.

    In anycase, just watching a tape is hardly conclusive. Even if clearly unjustified, it is not as clear what level of criminality is involved. I am not even sure it was unjustified. Not having all the evidence available to a grand jury, I can only say that there is a reason there is a saying you can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. If it voted not to indict, then maybe there wasn’t enough to be “obviously murder”

    • That was a good post. I wonder though, how much of the Grand Jury’s decision was the product of the successful dumbing down of our society about individual Liberty and government accountability. I wonder how many of that group mistakenly believe that rights flow from government and not the other way around. That doesn’t mean that I would support short-circuiting our system today. Since the Grand Jury has spoken, I wouldn’t say that the officer was guilty of a crime under the law. However, morally, I find the actions in the video to be less than that of an agent of our government founded upon the Constitution and more towards the actions of an agent of a police state. I have no love of criminals but something is terribly and dangerously wrong with our system and how people apparently view its power these days.

      • One thing about grand juries that previous posters have failed to point out. The DA presents the evidence to the Grand Jury to see if there is sufficient evidence to indict. Somehow I don’t think that the DA put much effort into convincing the jury something wrong happened here.

        • That’s been in the back of my mind as well. DA biased presentation coupled with the current mindset of many regarding government power makes indictment unlikely.

    • All we really need to see is that an unarmed handcuffed prisoner lying face down on the ground was shot and killed. Unless there is evidence that this prisoner could shoot death rays from his eyes, then most of us would call that murder.

  66. Ok, I didn’t read through ALL the comments but why isn’t anyone asking why he didn’t use his radio strapped to his belt and call the 4 or 5 people standing right inside of the door they came out of? When I served in the 82nd if a weapon went off in your hands it was because the safety wasn’t on….why wasn’t his safety on? There is no such thing as an accidental discharge….there are NEGLIGENT discharges, and those are punishable by UCMJ. How come the officer isn’t being held accountable for control of his deadly weapon!?! Even if someone bumped his hand it doesn’t matter, it was in his hand and in his control. Period. He MURDERED that prisoner. If the dead man is denied his constitutional promise to be protected in police custody what will they try to get away with next?

    • Glock. No safety. Not that it matters – he appears to have deliberately shot the guy.

      His trigger finger was on the trigger.

  67. If they said that a tazer would not subdue him and that he could get his arms in front and use the handcuffs as a weapon, then why didn’t they send more men to help transport him? That way you wouldn’t have to shoot him cuz you have no other options.

  68. I wonder if he went to the “specialized training” Jeanne Assam was talking about that police go through to handle fire arms

  69. looks like the Cop meant to grab his taser. after he shot once or twice he realized his mistake and went for the taser. itll probly be deemed a legal shoot

  70. Blaming all cops for the actions of a few bad cops is no different than blaming all latin people for the actions of the latin kings.

    • So why do good cops refuse to testify or even report bad cops? Thats the same as approving of what bad cops do.

  71. This poor body was subject to a badly organized judicial system that shot him in cold blood while he was on the ground. He was dragged around like an animal because he was under heavy drugs and was causing problems at the hospital but was simply asking for hugs prior to that at Albertsons. Its a sad day in El Paso when the obvious is noticed by the public, when El Paso’s finest display marshal law. God Forbid it was Juan or Pedro after a night of partying and drinking? They are here to serve and protect. Excessive use of force. Point blank range on the chest instead of the leg. It is unfortunate to see unskilled officers who are afraid of getting an ass beating and decide its best just to shoot to kill, abuse their power. Remember Rodney King?

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