Texas police officer fired after shooting hamburger-eating teenager
A Texas police officer who shot a teenager who was sitting in his car eating a hamburger has been fired
A Texas police officer who opened fire on an unarmed teenager eating a hamburger in a McDonald’s parking lot has been fired.
San Antonio Officer James Brennand was fired after shooting Erik Cantu, 17, on October 2 in a McDonald's parking lot, police training commander Alyssa Campos said in a video statement released Wednesday.
Officer James Brennand responded to a disturbance call at the fast food restaurant, police said. But Brennand was quickly distracted by the parked car Cantu was sitting in. He claimed that the car evaded him the day before during an attempted traffic stop.
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A Texas prosecutor said in a statement Friday that he has not seen enough evidence to file charges against the teenager.
"While Sunday’s shooting of an unarmed teenager by a then-San Antonio Police officer remains under investigation, the facts and evidence we have received so far led us to reject the charges against Erik Cantu for further investigation," Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales said.
Brennand, who had been on the force for less than one year, violated his training and police procedures after approaching the car, Campos said.
Body-camera footage shows Brennand walking up to the teen's car, opening the driver's door, and ordering Cantu to get out.
"The officer abruptly opened the driver’s door and ordered the driver out of the car" before the arrival of backup officers that Brennand had requested, Campos said.
Cantu, in the officer’s body camera video, looks toward Brennand while holding a hamburger, then backs the car away, striking the officer with the open door.
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Brennand then opened fire several times as the door closed and as Cantu drove away.
Multiple bullets struck Cantu, who was found about a block away, police said.
"There is nothing I can say in defense of that officer’s actions that night," Police Chief William McManus told WOAI-TV. "I think what happened, initially, there was some contact made, but that did not justify the shooting."
Cantu was hospitalized in stable condition and initially charged with evading police and aggravated assault.
"The facts and evidence we have received so far led us to reject the charges against Erik Cantu for further investigation," Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales said.
Gonzales, the district attorney, said no decision had been made on whether to pursue charges against Brennand, pending the outcome of a police investigation into the shooting.
"As we do with all officer-involved shootings that result in death or serious injury, we will submit the case to a Grand Jury for their consideration. Until that happens, we can make no further comment on this matter," Gonzales said.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.