If you are pondering stealing something in Texas - and in this bad economy, crime is on the rise - you may be risking more than getting busted and serving some time.
You may be risking your life. (Heck, you may be doing that if you are just roaming along a city street anywhere in Texas.)
Deadly force (also known as excessive force) may be a viable legal claim -- but it's better to be alive than to have your grieving loved ones pursuing a lawsuit based on excessive force by a cop with a gun.
Beeville Shooting of Albert Ponce, 29, Yesterday
Yesterday morning, before sunrise, Anthony Albert Ponce of Three Rivers, was pulled over by Beeville police officers after they decided Ponce matched the description of a man who had ripped off a convenience store.
The Beeville cops say that Ponce got out of his car holding a pistol and waving his hands around in a threatening way. When Ponce refused to drop his gun, one of the cops shot him. That officer is on paid leave while his actions are being investigated.
Meanwhile, Ponce died at Spohn Hospital in Beeville later that day: Ponce was only 29 years old.
Austin Shooting of Byron Carter, 20, on Monday
On Monday, two bicycle cops were wheeling around downtown Austin when they spotted a car that they suspected held two car thieves - so they rode over to check things out, according to the Austin Police Chief in his statement to the press.
Apparently, the car started moving toward one of the bikes, hitting one of the cops, and the other officer fired on the occupants. The car drove off only to be found nearby with the passenger dead in the front seat. The driver was tracked down, he had a gunshot wound to his arm and was taken to Austin's Brackenridge Hospital.
Byron Carter, 20, was the passenger that died in that gunplay and a minor (16 yrs; name not released) is the wounded driver.
As for the cop that got hit by the car, he was treated and released by Brackenridge doctors for a ruptured Achilles' tendon. The cop who used his pistol to take those shots is also on a paid leave while things are investigated.
Shoot Now, Check for Guilt Later
Notice that in both events, neither decedent was proven to be a criminal - neither cop knew at the time if this target was guilty of stealing anything.