Texas police bash ‘unethical’ news station for airing video of cops killing suspect
Texas police upset that a local news station aired footage of Bexar County Sheriff’s deputies fatally shooting a man with hands up want the public to express outrage — at the news station.
Gilbert Flores, 41, can be seen in the cell phone video aired by KSAT standing outside his San Antonio-area home during a domestic violence call. He raises his hands over his head then abruptly crumples to the ground after he is apparently shot by deputies.
“They just cold-blooded shot that [expletive],” the man holding the camera says.
Both the county D.A. and the sheriff’s office have opened investigations into the shooting. Both deputies, Greg Vasquez and Robert Sanchez, are on paid administrative leave, KSAT reports.
But the Bexar County Sheriff’s Department is angry about the news station’s decision to air the entire video, which also appears to show officers handcuffing Flores’ lifeless body.
Broadcasting a man’s death for $100 has sparked threats to our deputies’ lives. Let KSAT know what you think, 210-351-1269.
— Bexar County Sheriff (@BexarCoSheriff) August 31, 2015
The department also called the airing of the video “unethical and sad” on its official Facebook page.
“These deputies have not been charged with a crime and a family lost their loved one. This is unethical and sad,” the post reads. “If you agree, let the local media know this sort of sensational behavior doesn’t fly in Bexar County.”
Many comments in response questioned why the department would criticize the news station for releasing the footage.
“I support the police. But for a law enforcement organization to seek to suppress the public’s access to evidence of police actions is unprofessional, and undermines the public confidence that police need, and need to foster. The issue isn’t the press showing the killing – the issue is the killing of the person, as shown in the video,” one man responded.
The news station said it decided to air the entire video because it allows the public to make their own call.
“Providing the video on KSAT.com allows for viewers to make their own decision on whether to click on a link to see the video,” KSAT reports. “Other than editing for language, the video is the entirety of what we received from Michael Thomas.”
Sheriff’s officials previously said the deputies tried to subdue Flores with less lethal means, including Tasers and shields. They said he had injured a woman and 18-month-old child.
Watch the report from KSAT here:
The entire video, which shows Flores being shot, can be seen by clicking here.