A Texas deputy shot and killed an unarmed Navy veteran during a traffic stop, then the sheriff in charge lied about it, saying the deputy and the man were engaged in a shootout where the deputy was fired upon first, prompting him to fire his weapon eight times.
But that never happened.
Dash cam video released this week shows not only was there no shootout, Lyle P. Blanchard, 59, didn’t even have a gun when he exited his vehicle – only to be struck by four of eight rounds fired by Bell County Sheriff’s Corporal Shane Geers in Harker Heights, Texas.
Police also claim Blanchard had anti-police literature, bomb materials and other weaponry stashed at his house.
That wasn’t true either.
The video shows Geers approaches Blanchard’s body three minutes after shooting him, but does not attempt to render any aid.
Geers was then cleared by a Bell County grand jury February 15 after Ranger Justin Duck conducted an investigation, according to the Killeen Daily Herald.
After deputy Geers shot Blanchard, Bell County Sheriff Eddy Lange apparently lied to reporters at the scene. You can hear Sheriff Lange state clearly to a news reporter Geers shot Blanchard during a “gun battle” in the video directly below.
Lange’s statements to the press were not included in the Texas Ranger’s investigation, and Geer’s testimony to the rangers given several days after the shooting did not mention any exchange of gun fire.
According to Geers’ testimony in the transcribed report, Geers stated Blanchard refused clearly-stated verbal commands after Blanchard stopped his SUV and yelled obscenities at Geers through his driver’s-side window, which was open.
“I continued to loudly and clearly instruct him to show me his hands, as they were both not visible,” Geers stated. “Instead of complying, the driver yelled other obscenities at me during my approach.”
But dash cam video shows Geers left his emergency sirens on throughout the incident, which might make his commands difficult to hear from 40-yards away.
Nonetheless, Geers contends he could hear exactly what Blanchard yelled from approximately 40 yards away and that his commands were clear.
“I yelled as loud as I could to show me his hands and I saw his arm coming forward from his lower back waist as if he were bringing a gun out and up,” Geers claimed in the report.
“Although I did not clearly see his hand, I felt like he had to have a gun in it by the motion he made, and it appeared to me that he was pulling a gun on me.”
Although Geers was wearing a body camera, he claims the camera did not activate or capture audio outside of his vehicle.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, audio from Geer’s dash cam could not be enhanced due to limitation’s in the department’s software.
Video of the shooting below.
Below that includes footage of the Blanchard family’s civil rights attorney Robert Ranco discussing how police issued a warrant for Lyle Blanchard eight hours after his death in order to justify shooting him to death.
According to Ranco, the Bell County Sheriff’s Department produced an affidavit containing make-believe reasons why it was necessary to shoot Mr. Blanchard dead even though he never had a gun including: claiming he had bomb materials, anti-police literature, ammunition and guns inside of his home, which is apparently not true.