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?