- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 16, 2015

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Relatives have filed a wrongful death lawsuit in the fatal shooting of a South Texas man by two deputies while both of his hands were raised. The incident was recorded on at least two videos.

Gilbert Flores’ family filed the lawsuit Monday against Bexar County, the sheriff’s office and Deputies Greg Vasquez and Robert Sanchez, the San Antonio Express-News (https://bit.ly/1FM1WPf ) reported.

The lawsuit claims Flores’ civil rights were violated and that officers used excessive force in the Aug. 28 shooting. It seeks unspecified damages, including medical and funeral expenses.

“The deadly forced used by defendants Vasquez and Sanchez against the decedent was unjustified and objectively unreasonable under any circumstances,” the lawsuit says.

One video of the shooting shows Flores, 41, with his arms raised before the deputies opened fire. A utility pole obscured one of the suspect’s arms in that tape.

A second video shows Flores holding a knife. Sheriff Susan Pamerleau has declined to release the second video.

The deputies were responding to a domestic disturbance. The lawsuit says Flores had already given himself up when he was shot.

“Mr. Flores’ actions in surrendering with his hands raised, with or without a knife, reflected that there was no immediate danger of bodily injury to the officers or others,” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit also seeks a court order directing the sheriff’s office to release all video and audio recordings, in their original forms, related to the shooting.

It is not yet clear if the deputies will be charged or disciplined in the shooting.

The sheriff’s office announced Sept. 8 that it had largely completed its investigation and forwarded the case to county prosecutors, who would be in charge of any criminal charges.

Both deputies remain on administrative duty, James Keith, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said Wednesday.

Keith said he couldn’t comment on pending litigation.

A district attorney’s spokeswoman said the investigation findings are being reviewed before a decision is made about whether to present the case to a grand jury.


Information from: San Antonio Express-News, https://www.mysanantonio.com

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