Campus Cop Shoots, Kills Unarmed College Student in Texas After Student Made a Sarcastic Remark
A campus police officer at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas, has been put on paid administrative leave after shooting – and ultimately killing – an unarmed student who attended the school, under shady circumstances.
The Texas Rangers and local police in San Antonio are both assisting the investigation into why Robert Cameron Redus, a 23-year old honor student at UIW who was studying communication arts, was gunned down by the officer.
Aggressive Pursuit By A Trigger-Happy Cop?
The incident took place several blocks from the UIW campus, at the parking lot of a residential community called Treehouse Apartments, where Redus was apparently living. UIW spokeswoman Debra del Toro said that the area fell under UIW jurisdiction because it was in the school’s nearby vicinity.
KSAT San Antonio reported that an unidentified man, who lives at the apartment complex, recalled, “I didn’t hear [the officer] say anything like, ‘Get down on your hands and knees,’ you know? I didn’t hear him say anything. He just started shooting. He emptied the gun on [Redus]. Boom, boom, boom. Six shots – five or six.”
The Alamo Heights Police Department told reporters that Cpl. Christopher Carter initially stopped Redus for “speeding and driving erratically.” Carter claims that, at some point after the traffic stop, “a struggle ensued” between himself and Redus.
According to San Antonio Express-News, bystander Mohammad Haidarasl witnessed Carter unloading his gun on the student after Redus sarcastically remarked, “Oh, you’re going to shoot me?” in response to the officer saying something along the lines of, “Stop resisting, stop resisting. I’m going to shoot.” Del Toro confirmed that out of the 17 state-certified peace officers at the school, none of them carries a Taser.
It is unclear what sort of “struggle” could have taken place place between Redus and Carter. Redus was not carrying any weapon at the time of the incident, and police initially refused to say whether Redus acted violently toward the officer, which his friends find hard to believe. Sarah Davis, a long-time friend of Redus, said, “He’s not an aggressive person at all, so the story just doesn’t really make sense to any of us.”
The Express-News was later told by Alamo Heights Police Chief Richard Pruitt that Redus had somehow “gained control” of the officer’s baton and was hitting Carter with it. However, Carter was somehow able to “regain control” of the baton before firing multiple rounds at Redus. During the six-minute confrontation, according to Pruitt, Carter told Redus “14 times” to put his hands behind his back and told him “three times” that he was under arrest, citing an audio recording that was not released to the media. Altogether, Pruitt said that Carter told Redus to stop resisting a total of “56 times.”
However, in an interesting twist, police are saying that Carter’s dashcam (dashboard video camera on the police cruiser) was malfunctioning that night.
History Of Poor Law Enforcement Hiring Practices?
In an official statement, the university described Carter as having “an extensive law-enforcement background,” which included “several years” with UIW.
But according to documents obtained by the Express-News, Carter has only been with the school for two-and-a-half years — which is his longest “police” stint so far. In fact, Carter has apparently held nine jobs at eight different agencies over the past eight years – an unusual rate of instability in law enforcement, to say the least.
One commenter named ‘WASP’ on on the Express-News website lamented, “You know that UIW Police hires officers that got fired from their previous agencies, it’s a fact … they hire ‘Gypsy Cops’ like one ex-SAPD who put SAPD SWAT in a standoff 10 years ago threatening to commit suicide after his wife served him divorce papers on Valentine’s Day, he became a [Sergeant] at UIW Police … he went to Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office, he surrendered his Peace Officer License, he also covered up another officer who’s now a [Sergeant] at Bexar County Police Constable Pct.3 … UIW, good education programs, worst hiring practices in Law Enforcement Officers, no brain power on that.”
Texas Law Enforcement Scandals Piling Up?
The shooting of Redus is the latest in a series of law enforcement scandals to hit Texas in recent months, including unconstitutional DNA samples being forced from drivers at police checkpoints in North Fort Worth, along with multiple cases of police brutality including the beating of Keyarika “Shea” Diggles that was caught on video.