- Associated Press - Saturday, December 12, 2015

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - A man whose arms were raised before two Texas deputies fatally shot him is heard yelling “I’m not going to prison” in a newly released eight-minute video that shows a tense standoff before authorities opened fire.

Prosecutors in San Antonio released the video Friday after a grand jury this week declined to indict the Bexar County sheriff’s deputies in the August death of Gilbert Flores. The shooting had drawn national attention after a shorter video, which was filmed by a motorist from a much farther distance, showed the 41-year-old Flores with his arms raised in the driveway of his parents’ house.

That first video was partially obscured and didn’t include audio. But new footage shows the deputies keeping their distance for more than seven minutes while Flores yells and paces between them and the house. The deputies close in when Flores walks toward their patrol car at the bottom of the driveway, then open fire as he stands still next to the car, with his arms above his head. Authorities say Flores had a knife in his left hand.

The video was taken by nearby neighbors who describe while filming that Flores has a knife and express shock when the deputies start shooting.

“Why did they shoot him?” a woman is heard saying.



Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood had revealed there was a second bystander video in the days following the shooting but wouldn’t release it while the investigation was ongoing. Also now public are 911 recordings in which Flores is heard saying “I got a knife” and “I’m going to suicide by cop,” the San Antonio Express-News (https://bit.ly/1NMKUYl ) reported.

The calls to police were made by Flores’ mother, who reported that her son had allegedly beaten his wife and child.

While the grand jury saw the second video, it also saw a range of other evidence including the 911 tapes.

“If you only saw that second video, in my opinion, I think there would have been an indictment,” LaHood told reporters. “But we present everything, from the 911 tapes to everything.”

Geoffrey Alpert, an expert on police use of force at the University of South Carolina, said the deputies might have faced a deadly threat if there were unsecured weapons in the patrol vehicle.

County officials defended the training given to the deputies.

“We train deputies to keep their distance, stay on guard and keep talking to the person with the knife to try and defuse the situation,” Bexar County sheriff’s office spokesman James Keith said. “Deadly force is the last option, if they feel their life is in danger.”

Family members have sued the county and the deputies, claiming Flores’ civil rights were violated.

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