Former San Antonio officer James Brennand indicted for shooting teen


A former San Antonio police officer has been charged after fatally shooting an unarmed teenager while eating in his car in a McDonald’s parking lot in October, prosecutors said this week.

James Brennand faces one count of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault by a public servant after body camera footage showed him shooting 17-year-old Erik Cantu, prosecutors announced Thursday at a news conference.

Cantu was taken to the hospital in “critical but stable condition,” police said at the time. His family announced that he had been released from the hospital last week, according to San Antonio-based station KSAT.

“The video of the shooting was seen all over the country,” Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales said (D) said in a press conference. “The horrors caused by events like this affect our entire community.”

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The Washington Post could not immediately reach Brennand on Friday.

Brennand’s attorney Nicholas Lahood told CNN that his client has been judged by the public “without the benefit of his side of the story being known.” Lahood did not immediately responded to The Post’s request for comment on Friday.

“We hope that more information will come to light that will help us better understand what happened,” Lahood told CNN.

Texas police are charging a former police officer who shot an unarmed teenager while eating a hamburger

If convicted, Brennan could face up to 20 years on the first-degree murder charge. Each additional charge carries a 99-year sentence.

The night of Oct. 2, while Brennand was investigating a report of an unrelated disturbance at a fast food restaurant, the officer – who was fired less than a week after the shooting – saw a car that he said had fled the night. already. They called for backup because they suspected the vehicle was stolen, police said.

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Brennand suddenly opened the driver’s side door and ordered Cantu to get out, dash cam video released by police showed. After a while, Cantu He turned the car around, the door still open, and hit Brennand with it. The officer stepped back and fired five shots. He shot the car five more times as it was leaving. Cantu was hit multiple times, police said.

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus called the shooting “unprovoked.” Gonzales, the district attorney, denied the police charges against Cantu. Brennand turned himself in to police a few days later, and was arrested.

At least two other former San Antonio police officers have been charged this year with excessive force. In February, a grand jury indicted former chief Oscar Cruz Jr. for firing two shots at fleeing youths when he responded to two calls about youths pulling on car doors, KSAT reported. He was charged with murder, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

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Michael Brewer, a former trooper, was accused of putting his knee on the head and neck of a handcuffed man, KSAT reported. He was charged with obstruction of justice, the Express-News reported.

All these incidents were recorded by the officers’ body cameras.

This week’s trial is a relief to Cantu and his family, attorney Ben Crump said in a statement shared with The Post.

“The grand jury’s decision to indict two counts of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault is an important step toward justice — but there is still a long way to go,” Crump said. “We will continue to fight for independence and transparency in the rule of law.”

Rachel Pannett contributed to this report.


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