Texas police chief has defended his officer who shot and killed a black man during a mental health check up.
Officer Reynaldo Contreras arrived at the home of Patrick Warren on January 10 after Warren’s family called for psychiatric help.
The police department said in a statement that, upon the officer’s arrival, Warren was “emotionally distressed,” and newly released body camera footage shows the tense moments that led to Contreras firing his weapon at Warren three times.
In the video, Contreras can be seen letting himself into the home after he is told by someone inside to “come on in.” Contreras quickly exits after Warren begins to yell and advance towards him.
Warren can be seen outside a residence advancing toward the officer in the front yard and ignoring verbal commands for him to lie down. After the officer steps backward and continues to issue warnings, like “You’re gonna get tased,” he uses his taser.
Warren initially falls down but then stands back up and continues to push toward the officer. Contreras uses the taser again, but Warren keeps advancing and Contreras deploys his firearm.
Warren, who was 52, was transported to a hospital and succumbed to his injures.
Police Chief Charles Kimble said this week that Contreras did everything he could to use non-lethal force against Warren before he deployed his firearm.
“I don’t see where he could have done anything else. I saw an officer try to handle a call, de-escalate a call,” Kimble told reporters.
“Given the same set of circumstances, I just don’t know what else we could do,” he added.
Contreras, a five-year veteran of the department, is on administrative leave, according to the Killeen Police Department. An investigation is underway into the incident.
Watch the video here.