Months after a truck driver was shot to death by police officers in Del Rio, Texas, two of the officers have been forced to resign and seven others have been suspended.
Police Kill Parked Truck Driver
The incident happened on February 17 of 2015 when police responded to a report of a disturbance caused by a truck driver with a machete. They found 50 year old Pedro “Pete” Saldivar behind the wheel of his parked Peterbilt in a store parking lot off Highway 90. Police surrounded Savidar’s truck, armed with rifles and drawn service weapons. After a few minutes, Saldivar’s truck pulled forward and the officers opened fire. Video taken on the scene shows two separate barrages of gunfire. Saldivar was killed.
Many Question Why Police Used Lethal Force
Saldivar’s family publically questioned the police as to why they used lethal force on the truck driver but never received a satisfactory response.
The incident was called into question after several witnesses posted videos of the fatal shooting on social media. Further investigation revealed that the police had put other officers and innocent citizens at risk of injury during Saldivar’s shooting. They also revealed other disturbing facts — including that police had driven 118 miles per hour to get to the scene and used their personal cell phones rather than police radios to communicate. Further, the supervising officer has been accused of failing to properly manage his personnel.
Police Punished But No Criminal Charges Filed
Nine officers received punishments from the Chief of Police following an internal affairs investigation. Two of the officers were forced to resign and seven others were suspended for their roles in the shooting. No criminal charges were filed against any of the officers.
This was Saldivar’s second major brush with law enforcement. In 1997, he led police on a three county chase that ended when officers shot him in the leg.