Saturday, February 21, 2015

Above the Law: Officers Who Poured 80 Rounds into Mentally Ill Man Cleared of Wrongdoing

© East News/ AP/FOTOLINk
Sputnik | Feb 21, 2015

Jose Garza had just bought a BB gun and was sleeping on a couch outside a truck stop in Laredo, Texas, when police arrived and woke him up. Despite having prior knowledged that Garza had a BB gun, they opened fire when he stood up. Now those officers have been cleared of wrongdoing.

Garza, who suffered from schizophrenia, had been approached by security about the gun which he explained was a pellet gun he had just bought from Walmart. The guard, witnesses say, checked the gun and said he could easily tell it wasn’t real. However he asked Garza to put it away.

Garza fell asleep on the couch soon after while wearing his headphones. Six police officers soon converged on the truck stop. Garza woke up and began to stand and the officers opened fire. Garza’s family has said that he was shot 80 times and had to cremate the body because Garza’s face was completely decimated by the gunfire.

Surveillance video shows the officers handcuffing Garza’s lifeless body. Two officers are also seen giving each other a fist bump. Officers also took photos with their cell phones.

A grand jury had already decided that the lethal force was justified and cleared the six officers of criminal wrongdoing. Now, an internal investigation has cleared them to return to work.

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