Who is Patrick Warren Sr? Texas Black man tased and shot dead by cop in front of family during mental health check
'There's no reason that a mental health call like this should result in a fatality,' said the 52-year-old's family lawyer
A shocking video has surfaced showing how a Texas police officer "tased and fatally shot a father in front of his family during a mental health check". The bodycam footage shows how 52-year-old Patrick Warren Sr was shot dead shortly after police arrived responding to a mental health call.
Patrick's family said he had been having a mental health episode when Officer Reynaldo Contreras, who was on duty on January 10, 2021, allegedly threatened to "tase him" before fatally shooting him down in front of them. On the previous day when Patrick suffered through a similar crisis, a mental health officer had been called to the house the previous day, and the situation went much differently.
What happened on January 10, 2021?
The disturbing bodycam footage shows the tense moments leading up to Officer Contreras allegedly firing his weapon at Warren three times. Contreras is seen letting himself inside the home after he is told by someone to "come on in". Warren is then seen outside the residence, going towards the officer, as the officer warns him, saying, "You're gonna get tased.’’
After he used the taser, Warren fell down but continued to push toward Contreras. That is when the officer allegedly used the taser again, but Warren kept persisting. And that is when the shots were fired.
Warren was transported to a hospital but died due to his injuries.
The family's high-profile attorney, famed civil rights lawyer Lee Merritt, is now calling for Contreras to be filed and charged with murder. "This is one of the worst officer-involved shootings that I've seen," Merritt reportedly said.
Justice for Patrick Warren Sr
According to the Killeen Police Department, Contreras has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of an investigation. But KPD Chief Charles Kimble continues to defend his officer's actions, saying "When I look at the video, I just wonder — if I had 1,000 hours of training, what could have stopped what we saw today? I just don’t know, I don’t know what magic words could have been said to de-escalate that."
But Merritt points out that "if you don't have those magic words, then you have to confront them. And that force cannot be taser/gun," adding that KPD isn’t properly trained to handle mental health calls. “It’s not enough to play ‘cops and robbers’ with people in mental health crisis,” Merritt reportedly said.
Contreras has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of an investigation. The lawyer said they are going to push for the arrest of the officer and that the city of Killeen can expect a federal, civil rights lawsuit. "The lawsuit is a far second to criminal accountability," said Merritt, adding, "We think this is a dangerous police officer, but as the chief indicated, this just may be a dangerous police department".
Support for Patrick Warren Sr
Support for the ill-timed death of Patrick Warren Sr has garnered a lot of support on social media as people continued to share his story - pointing out where exactly authorities went wrong. "On January 10th, Patrick Warren Sr. Was shot and killed by the police in his front yard. His family had called in order to get assistance for him due to a mental health situation. The previous day, the family had called and the situation ended differently," one tweeted calling to attention the case, adding, "The officer who responded the first day had mental health training and the other did not." The tweet also mentioned details about the GoFundMe page. "His son, Patrick Warren Jr. has set up a gofundme as his father was the sole provider for the household so if y’all have the means, please donate, and if you can’t, please share."
His son, Patrick Warren Jr. has set up a gofundme as his father was the sole provider for the household so if y’all have the means, please donate, and if you can’t, please share. https://t.co/oUR5b88e7O— Cryp misses sam and ranboo (@bootwtbrainrot) January 19, 2021
Patrick's death is, unfortunately, another instance to add to why the Black Lives Matter movement is important. "I am tired of police acting like they are protecting a community,armed&trained like a small military force,ending up shooting black men dead just because someone called for help,BUT hundreds of angry White men storm police at Capital, ONLY ONE PERSON SHOT #BlackLivesMatter"
I am tired of police👮♀️acting like they are protecting a community,armed&trained like a small military force,ending up shooting black men dead just because someone called for help,BUT hundreds of angry White men storm police at Capital, ONLY ONE PERSON SHOT🤨#BlackLivesMatter— W.J. Mansperger (@ManspergerJ) January 24, 2021
The accident is now calling to attention the lack of dedicated mental health care and not police officers doubling up as mental health professionals. "We need universal healthcare including mental health, police are not social workers and having to rely on them when really what the family needed was mental health assistance that is so very sad all around."
We need universal healthcare including mental health, police are not social workers and having to rely on them when really what the family needed was mental health assistance that is so very sad all around.— Mary Johanna (@MaryJohanna6) January 21, 2021