Later, it was clarified that Officer Garza thought the youth had marijuana.
It all happened at approximately 5:03 p.m., when the off-duty officer was working as private security at the Villages of Copperfield Apartments.
Harris County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Thomas Gilliland said that according to the off-duty officer’s statement, he identified himself as a police officer. The officer then asked Santellana for identification and told the driver to step outside the vehicle.
Santellana saw no reason to comply with the off-duty cop, since he was not acting as a police officer, and because there was no legitimate probable cause that he had committed any crime.
When Santellana tried to get away, the officer opened fire.
“Because the door was still open, there was nowhere for the officer to go,” Gilliland tried to rationalize.
“He discharged his weapon into the sedan four to five times. Then the vehicle accelerated through the parking lot, and he (Santellana) hit a curb and the vehicle became airborne,” Gilliland claimed.
The Free Thought Project clarifies that the youth was actually shot in the back, seven times.
That’s because when “the 17-year-old tried to exit, and came around to the back of his vehicle and collapsed,” Gilliland admitted. “He was hit in the upper left shoulder and lower, middle left side.”
The officer was fine. Remarkably, he has not faced any charges for this cold-blooded killing.
Gilliland said that small amount of marijuana was found inside the Taurus Santellana was driving, as though this somehow justified the shooting.
“The officer, as standard procedure, has been placed on administrative paid leave, pending the outcome of the investigation,” Myatt stated.
But that leave came and went, as Garza was allowed to walk free.
Does this sound like justice to you?
The question has been asked “Does this sound like justice to you?”and I have an answer. It sounds like a cop with too much Testosterone wanted to be a big shot. This officer should be charged with murder. First, he thought they might have marijuana. Second, only the young man had marijuana. Third, he shot the teen seven…SEVEN times with his gun. And finally, he was off-duty.
I must now breathe, slow and deep. The cop has there was a small amount of marijuana in the car, but that does not justify a shooting. The cop was working as a security guard from what I can tell. Was he clean and sober? Why would a sober off-duty cop overreact in such a manner that he shot a teen seven times? Is it legal for an off-duty cop to stop and accuse a citizen of a crime and ask him to exit his car?
Back in the day, I was stopped once because I was leaving a laundromat and the cop asked me for my license. The friend who was with me, whispered to “shut up” because I was about to go off about stopping me because I left a well lit parking lot and forgot to turn on my lights. As I pulled into traffic, I realized they were off and turned them on. I still got stopped. He threatened to give me a ticket and I thought of all the lawyers I worked with and said OK. He didn’t give me the ticket.
I digress, and I apologize. As I have mentioned before, color is not permission to shoot a young person to death. Even if he had a joint, it was not a reason to shoot him seven times, seven times in the back. I realize that Texas is a shoot ’em up state. You can’t mess with Texas cops. I have family there and I have been there very often. Never were we stopped, ticketed or asked to exit the car. Why? I think because we were Caucasian and not people of color.