The Killing of Kameron Prescott
On December 21, 2017, multiple officers from different law enforcement agencies were chasing a felon, Amanda Jones. Jones had evaded them for approximately two hours and eventually ended up in a mobile home park where she attempted to break into some of the mobile homes, to hide. She was trying to get into the Prescott home when Bexar County deputies arrived.
There is no video of what happened. Three of the deputies did not turn on their body camera. The fourth one did but its view was blocked. According to the deputies, Jones pointed a weapon at them so they opened fire. (There were several accounts of what happened so this final version is questionable). Multiple rounds went through the house with two of them hitting 6-year old Kameron Prescott. Kameron’s father was handcuffed by deputies and was unable to go to his injured son. Kameron died from his wounds. A Grand Jury was given the evidence and decided not to indict the officers. See that KSAT story here.
Only Justice Left for Kameron is a Civil Rights Violation
Sunday, the attorney for Kameron’s father announced that they would be filing a lawsuit against Bexar County, Sheriff Javier Salazar, and the four deputies involved in the shooting; John Aguillon, George Herrera, Jesse Arias, and Johnny Longoria, for negligent actions that resulted in the death of Kameron Prescott. The official announcement will be made on Monday at 10:00 am. Since the Grand Jury no-billed the indictment the only justice Kameron can get is through a Civil Rights Violation lawsuit, which is no justice at all.
Sheriff’s Office Spin Machine Starts Up
The Sheriff’s Office put out the following statement after news of the lawsuit was announced:
“While we cannot comment specifically on this case due to ongoing litigation, training hours have increased dramatically since December 2017.”
Sheriff Salazar has backed his deputies, insisting that he believed them when they said they saw a gun. He said that the shooting was in accordance with their use-of-force policy. If he’s saying that they were justified in their actions then what kind of training is he giving to avoid situations like this in the future? Why would you give additional training on something that you say was done correctly?
Salazar says training has increased dramatically but he doesn’t say the additional training has anything to do with this type of situation. If he says deputies are being trained to be more cautious when shooting at a residence then he is admitting that they were not cautious (in other words, negligent) when they did shot at the mobile home. So if they are not being trained on the dangers of shooting in a residential area, why would they mention increased training? To trick the citizens of Bexar County into believing he is actually doing something. Everything with the Salazar administration feels like one long con job.
Was the Sheriff’s Office Negligent?
The reality is, yes. The Sheriff’s deputies were extremely negligent in shooting toward a mobile home. They may have been following their training but if so, that training is in desperate need of updating. A mobile home is nothing but a tin can. Bullets are going to tear straight through it. This mentality that bullets that miss the target just disappear in a puff of smoke has got to stop. People are dying because of it. Officers need to be trained to be aware of what is in the direction they are shooting.
There also needs to be training to avoid the fire-fight mentality. Officers hear one of their fellow officers shoot and all of them start shooting too. They make the assumption that if one shot then there must have been a reason. The reason could very easily be the officer overreacted. But even if there was a reason, it doesn’t mean that everyone needs to start shooting. Since Jones did not have a gun, there was never any return fire. They just attempted to riddle her with bullets because they ‘thought’ she had a gun and well, because another officer had already fired. Officers need to be trained to think for themselves and not be carried away by the adrenaline rush. People are dying because of it.
Adding Insult to Injury
We can’t help but think about the death of Chucky, a BCSO K-9. We firmly believe that the death of Chucky was another instance of negligence on the part of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office but poor Chucky didn’t have anyone to fight for him after his death. Still, the Sheriff’s Office went all out on a funeral for him. We suspect this was more to try to make the Sheriff look as if he had deep feelings for what happened to Chucky to distract from the Sheriff Office’s culpability in Chucky’s death, but regardless, a very fine, well-attended funeral was put on for Chucky.
How about poor, little Kameron Prescott? He was killed by Bexar County deputies. What did they do for him? We can understand that the family might not want deputies there but did they even ask if they could send a representative? Did they at least send flowers? Did they do one single thing to let Kameron’s family know how sorry they were about what happened or did the Sheriff just worry about protecting his own tail?
Does Salazar Even Care?
No matter what happens, we doubt it will have any affect on Sheriff Salazar. Sure, he puts on a show but he doesn’t seem to care about actions that bring lawsuits against Bexar County since the payouts don’t come out of his budget, nor does the full amount come out of his pocket. There are no real consequences for him. We’re figuring that the only thing that will concern him about the lawsuit is that it’s happening so close to the primaries. We all hope the voters of Bexar County are paying attention.