The Bexar County Sheriff’s Department, the same department responsible for the recent shooting of a man holding his hands up, is now in full attack mode against the media, reporter and especially KSAT 12, the news station which released the video of the shooting of Gilbert Flores.
The video of the shooting clearly shows Flores standing calmly in his front yard with his hands up and the two deputies pointing guns at him and eventually shooting him (the actual moment of the shooting was cut out).
In a Facebook post made last evening, the department made it very clear that they do not take responsibility for the shooting and in fact they blame the TV station for the public outrage over the shooting of an unarmed man who was holding his hands up in the air and was not posing a threat to the two deputies confronting him, Greg Vasquez and Robert Sanchez.
Incredibly, the post even encouraged the community to actively contact the news station and complain about the released of the video! It stated:
Today, members of our local media chose to broadcast online unedited video of a man’s death. KSAT 12 paid a neighbor who filmed the tragedy $100 for the exclusive rights to the video. As a result, people from outside our community have bombarded us with inappropriate comments, and today, physical threats toward our deputies. These deputies have not been charged with a crime and a family lost their loved one. This is unethical and sad. Call KSAT and let them know what you think – (210) 351-1277. If you agree, let the local media know this sort of sensational behavior doesn’t fly in Bexar County.
The department continued to defend the post on Facebook by implying that the released of the video is jeopardizing the investigation into the shooting and attempted to send the media on a guilt trip regarding the family of the deceased man:
Would you want your loved ones to see your death? What about the investigation being jeopardized by a video that doesn’t share the whole story? It’s about doing the right thing. This is only one piece of evidence.
It is typical of police departments to hold onto video evidence of shootings or wrongdoing until public sentiment calms down and negative comments from the public tone down, but this is an instance where they were unable to control the timing of the release of the video, giving us an interesting insight into how police department see the media: as a tool to be used to manipulate the general public and turn sentiment in their favor.
When they are unable to control the media, they throw a temper tantrum and demand that their blind supporters go on the attack against the reporters they cannot control.