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Veteran San Antonio police officer John Lee is expected to be terminated for shooting and killing an unarmed Black man last month, ABC News reports.

Police Chief William McManus said in a statement that Lee failed to demonstrate proper police conduct when he shot Antronie Scott, 36, during an undercover attempt to serve an arrest warrant on Feb. 4. Police claimed two undercover officers came into contact with Scott as he stepped away from a car. Scott and another officer were called to help with the warrant.

After Lee told Scott to show his hands, the victim spun around with a cell phone in his hand.

Lee was under the assumption the phone was a gun and shot him in the torso.

Via ABC News:

“Officer John Lee has been issued a contemplated indefinite suspension for placing himself unnecessarily in a tactical situation wherein he felt compelled to use deadly force,” McManus said.

A police spokeswoman confirmed that an “indefinite suspension” is equivalent to a termination. Michael Helle, president of the San Antonio Police Officers Association, claimed the termination is a response to the public outcry over the shooting and not the rules of law enforcement:

“This situation could happen to any officer at any time and the message from the chief is loud and clear — ‘I don’t have your back,'” Helle said.

“Many times, officers don’t get the luxury of placing themselves in the best tactical position when things are happening real time. Split-second decisions on the use of deadly force must be made sometimes, and a wrong one could make the difference of whether you go home to your loved one or they are handed a flag at your funeral,” he said.

“Deadly force is always the last resort, but this felon decided to move in an aggressive manner while exiting his vehicle holding a dark object in his hand that lead the officer to believe he had a weapon,” Helle said.

Scott’s family plans to file a lawsuit against the police department by the end of the week. The suit will more than likely address allegations of excessive use of force and the reported violation of Scott’s civil rights.

An investigation by the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office began last month to determine if the case will be presented to a grand jury. Audio of the incident was captured, but neither dash cam footage nor body cam footage was taken. McManus told reporters Lee’s squad car wasn’t positioned in a way to record the shooting.



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