Retrovision: Six Years On

This article originally appeared on 08 March 2019.

On March 8, 2013, El Paso Police Officer Jose Flores shot the handcuffed prisoner Danny Saenz in the sallyport of the El Paso County Jail. Mr. Saenz died at the scene.

The El Paso County District Attorney Jaime Esparza, notoriously coddling to law enforcement and elected officials, failed to secure even a charge of Reckless Endangerment against Officer Flores. DA Exparza couldn’t even get the Grand Jury to return a charge of Illegal Discharge of a Firearm in the City Limits.

DA Esparza allowed the unusual step of allowing Officer Flores’ attorney the opportunity to present evidence to the Grand Jury which decided to no-bill Officer Flores.

Since Officer Flores wasn’t convicted of any crime, he was allowed to return to the El Paso Police Department.

(Remember that the next time you see those flashing lights in your rearview mirror.)

Despite the fact that the video of Officer Flores shooting Mr. Saenz garnered national attention and was widely condemned, the citizens of El Paso were not outraged. The Chief Executive Officer for the political subdivision responsible for the El Paso County Jail, County Judge Veronica Escobar, gave no public statement. The County Commissioners Court was also silent.

Ms. Escobar is currently the U.S. Representative for Texas’s 16th congressional district, representing El Paso in the United States Congress.

The elected officials who ostensibly are responsible for the El Paso Police Department, the El Paso City Council, expressed no opinion regarding the cold blooded execution of a handcuffed prisoner at the hands of and while in the custody of an El Paso Police Officer. In fact, seven of the eight El Paso City Representatives voted against awarding the family of Mr. Saenz any monetary compensation.

Those, El Paso, are your elected officials.

None of the local media editorialized on the execution of a handcuffed prisoner in the custody of the El Paso Police Department at the El Paso County Jail. Well, we did. But none of the real more major media.

When the Spaniards first arrived in this region, they called the local indigenous peoples “mansos.” Tame.

Do you even vote?

As far as we know, Officer Flores is still on the force. And Mr. Saenz is still dead.

3 comments

  1. it was hardly an execution. if you have to lie to make your point, are you making a point or just lying about everything. he accidentally fired his weapon, happens every day. the situation could have been avoided by the prisoner not getting violent, then he would still be alive

    1. Why did he have his gun out? Why did he have his finger on the trigger? Don’t they teach trigger discipline at the Police Academy? If he was afraid, or unable to handle the situation, why didn’t he get help from all the LEOs on the other side of the door?

      It was an execution.

      If you or I had pointed a loaded gun at a handcuffed man, and accidentally pulled the trigger, there would have been consequences. Like a manslaughter charge, at least. Officer Flores was never arraigned. Hell, he got his job back.

  2. So, buy boots for a homeless a month before + have blind (by choice) elected officials on your side = No charges.

    Amazing!

    1. Use of Deadly force on a handcuffed subject.
    2. Multiple assistance were just a call away.
    3. Using a deadly weapon to intimidate a subject.

    Accidental discharges are only applicable at the practice / qualification range.
    In the field, ready pistol (finger off the trigger), securing weapon in lockbox, and use of deadly force are the only applications a LEO would be justified to unholster. But, obviously not on an already handcuffed individual, especially if assistance was readily available.

    Yep, it was homicide.

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