A US police officer was dismissed for firing repeatedly at a youngster who was eating McDonald’s in his car last week; the incident was caught on the cop’s bodycam, and the film has since prompted uproar on social media.
On October 2, Officer James Brennand, 25, of the San Antonio, Texas, police department, attended to a separate disturbance at the McDonald’s restaurant. Erik Cantu, 17, and a friend were eating hamburgers in their car in the fast food restaurant’s parking lot when the on-duty officer approached and opened the door.
He told Cantu to “get out of the car,” which caught the adolescent off guard. The teen kept eating the hamburger and questioned “why” before grabbing the wheel. After a brief bustle, Brennand fires five shots in quick succession at the adolescent. When the officer declares “shots fired” and then fires five more times at the moving automobile, Cantu had already managed to close the door and was pulling away.
He also informs the control room that bullets were fired as he runs behind the car.
With the caption: “Earlier this week, a San Antonio cop abruptly accosted an adolescent dining in a McDonald’s parking lot and ordered the teen exit his vehicle,” healthcare advocate Kendall Brown posted the video on Twitter, which received 5.6 million views.
When the boy questioned why, the officer attacked him right away before shooting him many times. Cop attempted to (falsely) assert that the teen struck him first.
After some time, Cantu, who had been hurt in the gunfire, stopped where the cops had discovered them.
He was riding in the automobile with another passenger who was unharmed. He was initially accused of escaping police and aggravated assault before being hospitalised in stable condition.
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According to a statement from a prosecutor in Texas, there is not enough evidence to bring charges against the teen.
“While Sunday’s shooting of an unarmed teenager by a then-San Antonio Police officer remains under investigation, the facts and evidence we have received so far led us to reject the charges against Erik Cantu for further investigation,” Joe Gonzales, the district attorney for Bexar County, reportedly said.
The DA further stated that, pending a police investigation, no decision had been taken regarding whether to press charges against the officer.
The prosecutor also stated that as the officer approached the automobile, he immediately opened the car door without waiting for the backup to arrive, which was against his training and police protocol.
The police chief declared that the shooting was unjustified and that he had no comments to make in support of the former officer.
“There is nothing I can say in defense of that officer’s actions that night; Police Chief William McManus told WOAI-TV. “I think what happened, initially, there was some contact made, but that did not justify the shooting.”