Cop Escapes Charges After Shooting an Unarmed Man With His Hands Up
Grapevine, Texas – Monday, a Texas grand jury chose not to indict a Grapevine police officer, Robert Clark, for the shooting death of an unarmed man, Ruben Garcia Villalpando. Villalpando had his hands on his head, yet he continued to slowly approach the officer, despite repeated commands from the officer to back up and stand by the car.
The officer’s dash-cam video shows an initial police chase, as Villalpando attempts to evade Clark at high speeds. Clark eventually holds him at gunpoint and orders him out of the vehicle after the chase concludes.
The officer then commanded Villalpando to put his hands on his head and stand by the back of his vehicle. While Villalpando complies with the order to put his hands on his head, the obviously intoxicated suspect doesn’t comply with the demands to stay put. The suspect slowly shuffles closer to Clark, as the officer continually orders Villalpando to stop walking toward him.
As Villalpando stepped out of the camera’s view, Clark fired two rounds, subsequently killing Villalpando. Clark claimed that he feared for his life during the encounter.
What is extremely troubling about this situation, aside from the fact that the grand jury didn’t see fit to indict and allow a jury to decide guilt or innocence, is that Villalpando, while not compliant, did not appear violent or aggressive toward the officer.
An autopsy revealed that Villalpando had a .14 blood-alcohol level at the time of his death. It seems possible that his non-compliance was related to his inebriated state.
Was there no other way for this officer to deal with an intoxicated individual slowly approaching with his hands on his head other than shooting him?
While Villalpando’s actions were not fully compliant, and perhaps some use of force could be justified, in a just society his killing would be recognized as unwarranted and someone would need to be held accountable.
Shouldn’t those who are allowed to utilize the government’s monopoly on force be held to the highest of standards, rather than the current paradigm where there is very little training required to become an officer, and even less actual oversight once you are initiated as part of the “thin blue line” gang?
Check out the police video below: