A dispute has erupted between police and the media in San Antonio, Texas, after a man was shot and killed by cops responding to a domestic violence call.
Gilbert Flores appeared to be surrendering to police outside his home, with his hands raised, when police opened fire and a neighbor captured the dramatic moment on video, albeit at some distance. It’s not clear why the deputies fired on Flores.
The neighbor, Michael Thomas, contacted ABC affiliate KSAT-TV and ended up selling the video for $100, with the affiliate then airing the footage up to the moment Flores was shot — the full unedited video was posted on their website.
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The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office took exception to KSAT-TV’s actions, turning to their official Facebook page to call the decision “unethical and sad.” The agency also asked the public to call the station.
The agency also posted a comment on Twitter, asking folks to contact the affiliate:
Law enforcement officials said the responding officers tried to use “non-lethal force weapons” to subdue Flores, who was armed with a knife and resisted arrest when approached. The officers, Greg Vasquez and Robert Sanchez, were reportedly placed on paid administrative leave.
KSAT-TV went to the extraordinary length of publishing a response to explain why they paid $100 for the video and why they decided to publish it.
“The video, while shot at a distance, is graphic in its depiction of a man’s death; however, we felt that it was clear enough to raise the question of whether the fatal shooting was justified,” the station said.
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