The San Antonio police officer who shot and killed a man for holding a cell phone last month, claiming he was in fear for his life, will be fired, the police chief announced this week.
Or as they call it, “indefinitely suspended,” which they say is the same as being fired, except, of course, there is always that chance he will be rehired as we learned with another San Antonio officer who was placed on indefinite suspension, only to be rehired, then fired again.
As it is now, they are unable to tell us exactly when officer John Lee will be fired.
But knowing police culture, it will probably be after he uses up all his vacation and sick days as well as any other benefits coming to him.
And there is still no word on whether or not he will be criminally charged.
According to 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,” said Police Chief William McManus in a statement.
Police spokeswoman Romana Lopez said in an email that “an indefinite suspension is equivalent to being fired.” Lopez couldn’t specify a timetable for termination.
Lee shot and killed Antoine Scott on February 4 after trying to pull him over for a warrant. Scott had stepped out of his car and Lee yelled at him to, “let me see your hands.”
But he then shot and killed him within seconds, according the Chief McManus, who reviewed video and audio recordings of the incident, which have not been released.
The incident took place days after a Florida man was awarded a $23 million settlement after he was left paralyzed when a Palm Beach sheriff’s deputy shot him after thinking his phone was a gun.
In December, a Las Vegas police officer shot and killed a man for the same thing, claiming he feared for his life when he confused a phone for a gun.
Lee was on the force for ten years before he killed Scott.