An eyewitness to the 80 rounds that police put into Jose Garza, a mentally ill man armed with a BB gun, came forward Wednesday with damning information that contradicts the official account of events.
“He was sitting down, and he woke up after several commands, because he had headphones on and he was asleep. As he stood up, the police officers began firing.”
“There’s a dead person in front of them. That’s somebody’s brother, somebody’s son. I think that’s where the community became outraged,”
An eye witness to the fatal shooting of 30 year old Jose Walter Garza in Laredo, Texas, on Saturday has decided to speak out against the police account of the evening, and what he has to say deeply discredits the official story.
On Saturday, police arrived at the Santa Maria Gateway Truck Stop around 1:45am, after receiving a call of a man with a gun.
Six officers opened fire on the schizophrenic man approximately five minutes after arriving on scene. While police will not confirm the number of shots fired, the family has spoken out saying he was shot at least 80 times, and that his injuries were so severe that they have decided to cremate him as he no longer has a face.
The officers needlessly handcuffed his lifeless body. Then as if to celebrate their firing squad style street execution, they are seen fist bumping 1:25 minutes into the video and taking photos with their cell phones.
Just like Michael Brown in Ferguson, these officers left Garza’s body laying next to a trash can for over 4 hours, the Panam Post reports.
According to a police spokesman, officers negotiated with Garza for about five minutes before shooting. The spokesman says an officer fired the first shot because he “feared for his life.”
Victor Treviño, Gateway Truck Stop CFO and attorney was an eyewitness to the shooting, and he tells a very different story.
Before the police arrived, Garza was approached by security about the gun. Garza explained to security that it was a pellet gun he had just bought from Walmart, and the guard checked it out to be sure, even though he could tell it wasn’t a real gun based on the cartridges. The private security guard asked him to put it away, and Garza did. Then Garza reportedly fell asleep on the couch in front of the building with a bottle of wine and headphones on.
“This was an individual that came and sat down at the couch in front of the building and basically had a bottle of wine and fell asleep. He was sitting down, and he woke up after several commands, because he had headphones on and he was asleep. As he stood up, the police officers began firing.” Treviño explained.
“There was so much stray gunfire, people inside the building were forced to drop to the ground and crawl their way out of the police line of fire.”
Just like in the case of Dillon Taylor last month, a 20 year old unarmed man executed outside of a 7-11 while also wearing headphones, unable to hear police orders, the police are already character assassinating Garza.
They are speaking about his criminal record and past convictions as if it some how relates to his gruesome fate. What we really need to be focusing on is the militarization and lack of due process becoming more and more apparent in this country.
Treviño said it perfectly in the interview-
“You expect them [the police] to execute the law. And the law basically says that everybody’s innocent until proven guilty. They’re not judged on the street. They’re judged in a court room, before a judge, before a process. Then, they are sentenced. That’s the law.”