Cummings school shooting lawsuit draws response from city:
In January of 2012 15-year-old Jaime Gonzalez was shot and killed by Brownsville, TX police after he brandished a gun in the halls on Cummings Middle School. The gun, pictured above turned out to be a pellet gun. Police say that Gonzalez refused to relinquish the weapon and pointed it at officers. At that point any cop from any town would have no choice to open fire especially with that gun being brandished in a school. Police had no way of knowing the gun was only a pellet gun until it was all said and done.
Jaime’s parents then filed a lawsuit against the city seeking compensation for physical and emotional injury, pain and suffering, along with funeral expenses and attorney fees. Back in July (get used to that because it’s going to be a recurring the,e around here for a while) additional details about the lawsuit were released.
Now the lawsuit states that not only were Jaime’s Constitutional rights violated but that police charged in shooting first and asking questions later, There has also been accusations of racism against the Brownsville police officers. It states that one of the officers said that Jaime should just be buried in Mexico with all the other Mexicans. Except here are the names of the officers in question. Robert Aguilar, Everardo Longoria, Raul Cazares, Christian Munoz and Michael Baker. I wonder which one they’re accusing of the racist statement.
But let’s not lose focus of something here. Jaime, for whatever reason, was the one who took a realistic looking gun to a school in this day and age. So realistic looking enough that someone at the school called police. Everything that happened from that point on Jaime was responsible for.
The city is looking to and should have the lawsuit dismissed.
UPDATE 7/17/2014: The city settled out of court with the family for an undisclosed amount.
Family of student killed at Cummings Middle School sue city:
In January of last year police in Brownsville, Texas shot and killed 15-year-old eighth grader Jaime Gonzalez in the halls of Cummings Middle School. Gonzalez was brandishing a realistic looking pellet gun pictured above. Police asked him multiple times to relinquish the weapon but Gonzalez refused leaving police no choice but to fire on him. Police were cleared of any wrongdoing by a grand jury later that year.
Now the parents of Jamie have filed a lawsuit against the city of Brownsville seeking compensation for physical and emotional injury, pain and suffering, along with funeral expenses and attorney fees.
Again I have to say that I am sorry for their loss however in my opinion the police acted exactly the way they should have. They assessed him as a threat and took appropriate action. As I’ve said before police are trained to aim at center mass and any kind of shoot to wound procedure is just TV foolery. Also I’m sure the police were devastated once they found out that the gun was not real.
If history is any indicator this lawsuit will more than likely be thrown out however if I was the city I would at least pay the funeral expenses and offer a little something extra to the family.
Texas police kill 8th-grader carrying pellet gun:
Eighth Grader Shot By Cops Had Pellet Gun:
Parents of student killed by police say death was needless:
Yesterday police in Brownsville, Texas shot and killed 15-year-old Jaime Gonzalez in the halls of Cummings Middle School. Gonzalez was said to be brandishing a weapon at police and refused to relinquish the weapon. After the smoke cleared it turned out that the weapon in question was a pellet gun. While this is most certainly a tragic loss and it will hurt some people to hear this but police did their job.
The school called police reporting a student with a gun which sent the school into lockdown. According to reports Gonzalez pointed the weapon at officers and was given ample opportunity to relinquish the weapon. When he didn’t police had no choice but to shoot him.
People are already asking why police had to use lethal force. Take a look at the picture above. If someone drew that on you would you be able to tell if the gun was real or not? It looks pretty real to me. People will say why couldn’t the police have shot him in the arm or leg. To be blunt that is TV bullshit. In reality police are trained to aim at center mass to bring down an assailant. Even if they were able to shoot the suspect in the arm or leg that can still kill you if the bullet were to strike one of the major arteries.
The bigger question should be what was the gun doing in the school in the first place. The words gun and school haven’t gone together in a very long time whether it be pellet, nerf or even squirt.
If any of this sounds even remotely familiar to you it may be because it sounds almost identical to the story of Christopher Penley. In 2006 he tool a pellet gun to Milwee Middle School in Florida and used it to take another student hostage in the middle of class before also engaging police. The results were the same. Later on the shooting had been ruled lawful and lawsuits against police and the school were dismissed. What you may not know is that the officer who pulled the trigger was so devastated that he left the police force for good.
Do you really think that the two officers who shot Jaime Gonzalez took pleasure in doing what they had to do? I can guarantee you they did not. They did what they were trained to do. They assessed a threat and took appropriate action. I doubt these officers will ever be the same but no one really cares about that do they?
UPDATE 8/11/2012: Grand jury rules that Brownsville police did not commit a criminal act when they shot and killed Gonzalez.