October 10, 2022

Charges Should be Brought Against Ex-SAPD Officer James Brennand

In the early morning hours of Oct. 2nd with no visible cause, then Officer James Brennand shot and critically wounded 17-year-old Erik Cantu while responding to an unrelated call. 

ACT 4 SA would like to share our unwavering support for Erik Cantu and his family — we hope Erik makes a full recovery from this senseless act of violence and receives the justice he deserves. While Officer Brennand has been relieved of his position as an SAPD officer, he still remains a free man while Erik remains hospitalized in intensive care. 

District Attorney Joe Gonzales has stated he will not submit the case to a Grand Jury until “SAPD completes its investigation.” SAPD is claiming it may take “over a year” to complete an investigation into Brennand’s video-recorded shooting rampage. 

This is not enough. Officer Derek Chauvin was arrested within 4 days after the murder of George Floyd and he went to trial less than a year after George Floyd’s murder. In a recent press conference, SAPD Chief McManus himself stated, “there is nothing I can say in defense of that officer’s actions that night.” It is unfathomable to force our community to wait years for an investigation into an obvious abuse of power that is currently being showcased on news stations nationwide. Brennand must be arrested or charged with a crime.

Further, SAPD policy clearly states that officers are prohibited from shooting at moving vehicles. We are fortunate that neither the passenger in the car nor an innocent bystander in the parking lot were injured. Shooting into vehicles seems to be an escalating tactic among SAPD officers and the department must diligently work to eradicate this behavior. 

Instead, SAPD has tried to callously press charges against Cantu even as he battles for his life in the hospital. Thankfully, our District Attorney has rejected these charges, stating, “While Sunday’s shooting of an unarmed teenager by a then–San Antonio police officer remains under investigation, the facts and evidence we have received so far led us to reject the charges against Erik Cantu for further investigation.”

We encourage the San Antonio community to join ACT 4 SA and the Party for Socialism & Liberation SATX tomorrow, Tuesday, October 11th at 5:30PM in front of the Public Safety Headquarters to call for the arrest of James Brennand immediately and for SAPD to drop the charges against Cantu before further legal action is taken.

Finally, when it comes to developing and implementing safe, effective, and transformative alternatives to the traditional law enforcement response, San Antonio has an opportunity to become a true Texas leader in redefining and transforming how cities address critical issues that impact their communities. However, this can only happen if city leaders are brave enough to seize the moment.

We urge you to act with courage and create a crisis response team that can truly meet the needs of our community – with care and compassion – and can build the community’s trust.

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Ananda Tomas

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