Dispute erupts between Texas sheriff’s office and TV station over ‘unethical’ video of suspect being shot

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.

Caution: Disturbing Content!

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.

Today, members of our local media chose to broadcast online unedited video of a man’s death. KSAT 12 paid a neighbor…

Posted by Bexar County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, August 31, 2015

 

The agency also posted a comment on Twitter, asking folks to contact the affiliate:

https://twitter.com/BexarCoSheriff/status/638486694329651202

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.

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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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