Texas Sheriffs Criticize Release Of Video Showing Police Shooting Gilbert Flores

A Sheriff’s Office in Texas has expressed their frustration at the release of a video which appears to show two officers shooting and killing Gilbert Flores while his hands were raised.

The shooting took place on Friday, following a domestic disturbance call in San Antonio, as Yahoo News points out. Flores died at the scene, shortly after he was shot by officers Greg Vasquez and Robert Sanchez. A college student, Michael Thomas, observed the incident and began filming it on his cell phone. Though Flores was slightly blocked in the frame by a telephone pole, the clip appears to show the 41-year-old with both of his arms raised in the air when the officers opened fire.

“He kind of just put his hands in the air. After he put his hands in the air, they shot him.”

Thomas sold his footage of Flores’ death to ABC affiliate KSAT-TV for $100, and the station utilized the clip both online and during their broadcast. The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office responded to the video’s release in a Facebook post, accusing KSAT of endangering their officers.

“As a result, people from outside our community have bombarded us with inappropriate comments, and today, physical threats toward our deputies. These deputies have not been charged with a crime and a family lost their loved one. This is unethical and sad.”

A second video of Flores’ death does exist, the Sheriff’s Office separately confirmed, which was apparently shot by a neighbor. It has yet to be publicly released, however, and is being treated as evidence.

Both officers who were involved in Flores’ shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave while their actions are investigated. The Sheriff’s Office has asserted that Flores was in possession of a weapon at the time of his death, but they have declined to say what kind. Police also claim that Flores was responsible for injuring a woman and an 18-month-old girl before the domestic dispute call was made, and that non-lethal weapons were used prior to his death.

The district attorney’s office is investigating the officers’ actions, and a spokesman for the office noted that Thomas’ video has given them a new angle into the death of Gilbert Flores that they otherwise wouldn’t have.

[Image: Michael Thomas/ KSAT via Slate]