Earlier this week a video was released through an open-records request by El Paso Newspaper which showed a police officer shooting and killing a handcuffed man.
The disturbing footage shows former Mr. El Paso, Bodybuilder Daniel Saenz, 37, being dragged through the corridors and then outside, after guards refused to admit him because he was harming himself and was bleeding from a head wound.
Once outside, the shirtless man struggles against Officer Jose Flores and another civilian guard who lose control of him – causing Flores to reach first for his taser, then stop and instead pull his gun which goes off when the guard apparently knocks his trigger finger.
Here is that graphic video:
Earlier that day, Saenz had been arrested for for acting strangely at a local grocery store and got into a scuffle with police during the arrest.
Several hours later he was shot and killed by Officer Jose Flores. Flores claimed he used the Glock to subdue Saenz, because the tazer was used several times before with no effect.
According to CLEAT (Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas) Flores was not found guilty of a crime because Saenz still posed a significant threat, despite the cuffs.
‘Saenz could quickly front his cuffs and turn them into a deadly weapon, given his considerable strength, agility and demonstrated resistance to the Taser …
‘At the same moment Officer Flores draws his weapon, Mr. Saenz pushes off on that curb and, with remarkable strength, sends the civilian escort flying backwards.
‘The civilian escort’s arm then hits the trigger hand of Officer Flores, causing his weapon to discharge.’
Due to police action, a death that could have been prevented was not.
But did Officer Flores act maliciously?
Just last year Officer Flores was involved in a completely opposite incident.
A homeless man had wandered into an El Paso Lowe’s store and instead of being thrown out or beaten by Officer Flores, something completely different happened.
83-year-old Charles Holder receiving a brand new pair of heavy-duty leather boots from Officer Flores in the home improvement store.
“They helped me,” Holder told KFOX14. “They’re a great bunch of people; they’re very humane.”
Was this murder?
Officer Flores may have been bumped by his civilian escort and made to fire the pistol, but should the pistol have been out in the first place?
It is, at the very least, gross incompetence on part of all parties involved. For instance, if they wanted to protect a man from banging his head, how would you do so by shooting him? He would have been better off banging his head.
Secondly, why was a man, who was allegedly high on bath salts, a bodybuilder, and known to be able to front his cuffs, escorted by a single cop?
The negligence and incompetence is shared by all those involved in the El Paso department. Saenz’s blood is on more hands than just Officer Flores.
One thing is for sure, there will most likely be a wrongful death suit, and the consequences of the negligent actions of the El Paso police department will be passed on to the tax payers.