The process of making an arrest can be stressful for both the officer and suspect alike, and we all know that one wrong movement or assumption on either side can lead to fatal circumstances. Unfortunately in many cases we’ve seen lately, authority figures have been the trigger-happy ones.
That was the sad case for a Black man who ended up dead last year after suffering from a mental episode during his arrest, and to make matters worse the deputy who shot him will not be charged after a grand jury in Texas chose not to indict.
On August 25, 2020, Bexar County deputy John Rodriguez and other deputies approached a man named Damian Daniels after receiving a welfare check request from his brother. Even with prior knowledge of Daniels’ mental condition and the fact that he was suffering from “paranoia” as his brother told the dispatcher, deputies still approached him without a mental health professional. As they tried to talk with him and inquire about a bulge protruding from under his shirt, things appeared to escalate into a more volatile situation as officers proceeded to rush him in order to apprehend. Following a shot from one officer’s taser, a struggle ensued for what allegedly was a gun underneath Daniels’ shirt. After multiple electrical shocks from more than one taser, deputy Rodriguez then proceeded to fire a round of gunshots that eventually led to his death.
The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office release the bodycam footage on YouTube, which we’ve chosen not to repost due to the intense nature depicted in the footage.
During a news release, Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales referred to the death of Damian Daniels, a former Veteran, as “tragic,” going on to add, “This country needs to do a better job of helping those in mental health crisis. We have reviewed the video with the Daniels family and have informed them of the Grand Jury’s decision. As I have stated in the past, every officer-involved shooting in Bexar County resulting in serious injury or death will be decided by a Grand Jury.”
According to San Antonio Report, Damian’s brother, Brendan Daniels, says the family will release a statement soon and also wrote in a text message, “We are taking this time to reflect and work on our next move with proceeding forward with Damian’s case.”
Due to the grand jury choosing not to indict, Rodriguez can’t be hit with felony criminal charges at the state level.
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