Body and dashcam video showing the deadly officer-involved shooting of 13-year-old Andre Hernandez Jr. contradict the narrative provided by law enforcement, according to an attorney hired by the boy’s family.
San Antonio police have said officers were responding to reports of gunfire when the fatal incident unfolded around 1:20 a.m. on June 3. Andre at the time was driving a red car with two passengers inside that also matched the description of a vehicle spotted near the scene of the shooting, according to authorities.
When they approached, police said the teen slammed his vehicle into the police cruiser, prompting an officer, identified as Stephen Ramos, to fire his gun into the car.
“Shooting into a moving vehicle full of children is not only against police policy in Texas it’s a violation of Texas law,” lawyer Lee Merritt wrote in a social media post. “It is a crime and the officers responsible must be prosecuted for murder.”
Merritt said he believed there was “a clear civil rights violation” based on the police videos he watched, which included a pair of dashcam clips and footage from Ramos’ bodycam. He said the footage shows that Andre initially reversed his vehicle into a residential driveway when authorities approached, NBC News reported.
As the pair of police cruisers neared the driveway, Merritt said Andre slowly started to move forward, eventually making contact with the vehicle at a speed of no “more than 2 to 5 miles per hour.”
“There was no ramming or crash, it was a bump,” he said, adding, “In less than a second, you hear a gunshot.”
Merritt’s retelling of the body and dashcam videos paints an entirely different version of events than that given by law enforcement — particularly their suggestion that Andre’s vehicle immediately “accelerated towards a marked SAPD patrol vehicle.”
Merritt noted that, based on his viewing of the clips, the fatal shot appeared to be “inadvertent fire,” citing Ramos’ body language.
“There was one shot, and no ‘let me see your hand,’” he said.
Andre’s mother, Lynda Espinoza, was not informed about her son’s shooting for 5 days. She still hasn’t seen the dash and bodycam clips.