America’s police officers have an unforgiving job. Each day, these dedicated public servants risk their lives to protect and serve. Officers must deal with the erratic behavior of potentially dangerous criminals. For this reason, police departments have strict protocols for engagement.

But when officers ignore these protocols, bad things are prone to happen. It appears that may have resulted in one San Antonio being on life-support. Erik Cantu was sitting in his car in a McDonald’s parking lot. There was a passenger with him.

Cantu was eating a hamburger. San Antonio Police Officer James Brennard was responding to an unrelated incident. However, when he noticed Cantu’s vehicle, he thought it matched the description of a similar car that purposefully eluded him the previous day.

Brennard was a rookie officer. He had been a member of the San Antonio Police Force for less than one year. However, he should still understand department protocol for approaching a vehicle alone. Brennard chose to violate that departmental protocol.

Before backup could arrive, Brennard walked up to Cantu’s car. Cantu suddenly opened the driver’s side door. The officer ordered Cantu to get out of the car. Instead, he attempted to flee. Cantu slammed the car in reverse and struck Brennard with the open door.

Brennard opened fire. That’s where an unfortunate chain of events turned tragic. Other San Antonio officers arrive. They found Cantu’s car a short distance away. Cantu was wounded, but the passenger was unharmed. Cantu is now on life support. Brennard has been fired.

He has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault by a public servant. The Cantu family attorney spoke to FOX News. Despite reports that Cantu was doing well, he is not. He is on life support. The family says his condition is “still touch-and-go.” They’re requesting continued prayers.

The most important question is whether this young man will live. However, this bizarre case has presented more puzzling questions. Why did suddenly Cantu try to drive off? Not attempting to flee should be rule number one when being approached by law enforcement.

Nonetheless, why did Brennard violate departmental protocol? In lieu of some startling new evidence, it appears this officer overreacted. But why did he feel it necessary to open fire? There are thousands of good police officers. Sometimes they react in overzealous haste. Is this, sadly, one of those times?

Daniel

Daniel is a conservative syndicated opinion writer and amateur theologian. He writes about topics of politics, culture, freedom, and faith.

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  • I would have gotten out of there too, to keep from being killed and according to the video the driver did not open the door the police officer did and violently too he grabbed the handle and yanked the door open , looks to me like officer was out for blood , What did the kid do ?, That warrented getting shot . Cop should have been arrested , someone used there head there ,

    • The police officer was obviously over reacting but I looked at the video and didn’t see him violently opening the door. He should definitely go to jail.

  • Here is the fact. The kid (Policeman’s term for rookie) should have never went up to the open door of a car (I was a Cleveland Policeman in the bloody 70s) First rule of a ghetto cop is to get the suspect(s) out of the car and make sure they are not going to shoot you in the face BEFORE you stick your face in an open car door.(Think about it) Their is no doubt the copper screwed up…..both within his departmental regulations AND the survival instinct a professional policeman. There is no doubt, like so many of the “collage boys” that are policeman today he had no business on the job. (You cannot go to school to learn to be a policeman. Either you are or you are not. Cops are born, not made)

    But the story doesn’t seem to end there. if what the article says is true in that the driver of the car not only disobeyed the policeman’s lawful order to get out of the car, he also attempted to flee,,,,and in so doing used deadly force (To Wit, a car with an open door, to strike the policeman) If that is true and he knocked the policeman down with the car door it is entirely possible the copper’s head COULD have ended up under the car’s left front tire. It is further entirely possible that the driver of the car COULD have reversed course and run over the policeman. If the story tells the facts the shooting was pure self defense. (Why did the driver of the car attempt to flee?)

    I was not there and I did not conduct the investigation and it is speculation on my part, but using only what was printed in this article this was a good shoot. The policeman had every reason to believe the kid in the car not only wanted to, but had the means to do him serious physical harm. Sorry folks, but that is the way I see here. To quote Joe Friday “Just the facts, M’am”

  • I don’t know all the details but as to why the officer fired, the suspect struck him with part of the vehicle while attempting to escape. I would think that qualifies as assaulting the officer. I believe the officer should have followed protocol but also that the suspect should have complied rather than react as he did.

  • I don’t know all the details but as to why the officer fired, the suspect struck him with part of the vehicle while attempting to escape. I would think that qualifies as assaulting the officer. I believe the officer should have followed protocol but also that the suspect should have complied rather than react as he did.

  • This cop is as dumb as a box of rocks. Why the hell was he hired in the first place?
    Hard to believe this shooting. 95 to 98 percent of the time police shootings are justifiable but definitely not this one.
    Sure, would like to hear why this dumb cop shot this kid.??????
    There is not proof this is the same kid or car who fled from the officer the night before.

  • After watching the video several times, it appears the cop was negligent. If you see the poor kid eating a hamburger, what law is he breaking? He had no fucking business approaching the vehicle opening the door. The kid was eating a hamburger!

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