Texas jury awards $10M to family of man killed by deputies
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A federal jury in San Antonio has awarded more than $10 million to the family a man who was fatally shot by two deputies in 2015 while he had his arms raised.
Video showed that Gilbert Flores, 41, had his arms up and held a knife when he was killed by the Bexar County sheriff’s deputies.
A grand jury in 2015 declined to indict the deputies, Greg Vasquez and Robert Sanchez, on criminal charges. Flores’ family filed a civil lawsuit and the jury on Thursday found the two deputies violated Flores’ constitutional rights, the San Antonio Express-News reported.
According to testimony, Flores’ mother called 911 to report that her son had assaulted his wife and infant child. On the call, Flores can be heard saying he was going to die by “suicide by cop.”
An attorney for Flores’ family, Robert Wilson, told jurors that the deputies were not in danger when they opened fire on Flores.
“You just don’t shoot somebody when they are standing still and surrendering,” Wilson said.
But attorneys representing the officers argued that Flores remained a threat because he refused to drop the knife.
The deputies declined to comment after the jury’s decision.