LULAC DENOUNCES SHOOTING OF A LATINO TEENAGER BY POLICE WHILE HE WAS EATING A BURGER IN HIS CAR
Nation's Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Says Arresting the San Antonio, Texas Police Officer Was the Right Action and Prays for Victim's Recovery
Washington, DC – The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) issued a statement on the shooting last week in San Antonio, Texas, of 17-year-old Erik Cantu, who was eating in a car with a female friend outside a fast-food restaurant. The teenager was struck several times as the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) officer fired ten rounds. The family says Cantu remains in critical condition in a local hospital. The police officer, James Brennand, has been terminated from his job and arrested in connection with the shooting. Brennand was on the force seven months and said the car the two people were in outside a McDonald's matched a vehicle he tried to stop earlier. Brennand stated he fired his weapon out of fear for his life, alleging the driver struck him with his car. Investigators dispute the claim based on video of the shooting. SAPD released bodycam footage. WARNING: Video is graphic.
Domingo García – LULAC National President "LULAC denounces this shooting which was nothing short of the attempted murder of two innocent civilians by a bad cop. Our hearts go out to the family, and we demand that the officer responsible for this violent, unprovoked attack be brought to justice. Nothing can justify the shoot-first, ask-questions-later attitude, and this shooting reflects poorly on the department's standards for the candidates the agency is hiring and training. We do not tolerate the violation of our civil rights under the color of law. Our young people should be able to trust, not fear, police officers. LULAC will monitor this matter very closely to ensure this officer faces the consequences of his criminal actions."
Rudy Rosales Jr. - Texas LULAC State Director "Texas LULAC affirms the actions of San Antonio Police Chief William McManus for firing this individual from his job, for which he was unqualified and ill-trained. Also, we agree with the San Antonio Police Officers' Association for not opposing the dismissal. Now, we look forward with an expectation of justice from Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales once the Civil Rights Division receives the facts from the investigation and presents them to the grand jury. As importantly, Texas LULAC prays for the recovery of the young man who has suffered from this wrongful shooting as he innocently ate in his car. Also, our deepest condolences to his family. Our youths should not be open targets to law enforcement simply because of who they are, their appearance, or where they happen to be."
Rosa Rosales - Former LULAC National President "I am shocked and extremely saddened that a lawfully authorized officer with the mindset of this now-fired individual could be allowed on the streets to open fire on innocent people. LULAC disagrees with Chief McManus that this is not a case of poor training and only one individual's poor decision. Wrong! Your department recruited, trained, and graduated this individual, so you cannot sidestep responsibility. This shooting demands reviewing and revamping your training and continued supervision of new officers. Our communities deserve the right to be in public places without fearing an out-of-control police officer will unload his firearm. There is zero justification for what happened."
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation's largest and oldest Hispanic civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC's programs, services, and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting the critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.lulac.org