San Antonio police on Tuesday arrested one of their own recently fired officers and charged him with two counts of aggravated assault by a public official for shooting an unarmed 17-year-old who was eating in a fast-food parking lot.
Police body-camera video of the Oct. 2 shooting went viral on social media, showing then-officer James Brennand opening the driver’s side door with his weapon drawn, demanding the driver exit the vehicle. The officer could then be seen opening fire as the teen drove away.
Brennand was fired two days after the shooting.
Watch the video:
The victim, Erik Cantu, was unconscious and on life support nine days after being shot, his lawyer said in a statement.
“This was a failure for one individual police officer. It had nothing to do with our policies. Our policies do not allow that. Our training does not teach that,” San Antonio Police Chief William McManus told a news conference to announce the charges.
“There is no question in anybody’s mind looking at that video that the shooting is not justified,” McManus said.
Brennand could not be reached for comment and it was not immediately clear who had been retained as his attorney.
Brennand was responding to an unrelated disturbance at the McDonald’s restaurant when, police said, he spotted a vehicle that he believed had evaded him a day earlier.
Video shows him opening the door and demanding that Cantu get out of the car while he was eating. Cantu asks why and backs up when Brennand fired five times, then another five times as the car pulls away.
A friend in the passenger seat was unharmed. The two counts correspond to the two people in the car.
Brennand turned himself in after police secured a warrant for his arrest from a judge and he was taken into custody, McManus said.
The case will be turned over to the Bexar County District Attorney’s office to determine what charges may be sought for prosecution, McManus said.
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Edmund Klamann)