Friend remembers man shot, killed by police as "great person"

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POSTED: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 1:15pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 7:11pm

We now know the name of a man shot and killed while in the custody of El Paso police. Daniel Saenz, 37, died Friday night after being shot outside the El Paso county detention facility.

Police said Saenz was handcuffed while he violently fought with the officer before the officer shot him.

Wendy Velazquez knew him for five years. She said Saenz was a body builder and may have looked intimidating to officers, but she only knew him as a "sweet guy."

"I just really think that his name shouldn't be dragged through the dirt above all cause he was a great person,” said friend Wendy Velazquez. “He focused a lot of religion, his family, himself and I just think there was a huge injustice and I think people really need to look into that. I don't know the whole story but according to what I've heard, I don't believe it’s right."

But police said there was a different side to him. They said Saenz was being booked that day for multiple violent charges, including assault on a public servant, assault bodily injury, assault and injury to an elderly. He also had been found guilty on theft, assault and violating protective order charges.

The El Paso Police Department's Crimes Against Persons Unit, Shooting Review Team and The Texas Rangers continue their investigation into Friday's shooting.
Once that investigation is complete, District Attorney Jaime Esparza said it's his office's policy to present all shootings that involve officers to a grand jury.

Police have not released the name of the officer that allegedly shot Saenz.
 

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Everyone needs to realize (come on people!) that the "charges" he was being booked for all came AFTER the fact. You all have no clue why he was even placed into custody in the first place. The police did exactly what they wanted here...shared what they wanted to paint the deceptive picture then everyone just went ahead and assumed these behaviors were the reason Danny was picked up by the police. Also...why did the police not share how many actual CONVICTIONS he had. One. Yes one.

What is the escorting procedure? Was he handcuffed from behind or the front? Was the inmate wearing leg restraints? If he was cuffed from the front, why was he cuffed from the front? Why wasn't the inmate tased? What is the procedure for deadly force?

He was cuffed in the back as protocol requires...AND escorted by TWO MALE officers. Use the least amount of force necessary and escalate as needed. Obviously this poorly trained officer jumped the gun. Literally. And murdered someone.

Lets assume the facts are true according to the story. If I'm a cop escorting someone that has violated a retraining order, thrown out of a gym because of being violent, violence on an elderly person, is twice as big as me and muscular etc., I should do what if he gets violent with me? Ask him to please don't kill me or shoot him? What would you do with this great person?

Nanodave-

How about let's NOT assume that a police department that just had an officer kill an unarmed, cuffed man is telling the truth cause we're NOT idiots? Goodness.

And sure let's play your game then...1- If anyone who is "twice as big" as you can scare you while being cuffed...should you be working as a police officer????? I mean what if I call 911 cause someone just broke into my house...are they going to ask me the height and weight of the intruder before thinking about responding??

nadodave assumes that the cop is ill trained & a wimp to boot. nadodave sounds like someone who would shoot first, bury them & then go eat a donut with never a thought that he might of done something horrible. In this shooting questions need to be answered such as did Saenz provoke the fight or did the cop? If the cop was so afraid of Saenz then why did he or she not request assistance in transporting Saenz to the hospital etc., etc.?

How did you get that I thought the cop is ill trained & a wimp from what I said? It does not take much to hurt another person regardless of strength. The cop acted as he should have. Defend himself so that he can go home to his family and eat a donut with them. What is horrible is the ignorance demonstrated by your attack on me. You have a lot of ifs in your comments so here is one for you. What if you were actually smarter than you sound? Naaaah.

Nano- So if this one idiot/violent/poorly trained/should never own a gun police officer gets to decide who gets the death penalty why do we have a court system? Let's just let him decide everything! If you want to talk about violent...you found your violent guy here. How adorable he gets to go home to his family...

The Police Department has left a lot of questions unanswered. I hope they eventually answer them all. For them to say that Saenz was this & that but then have only one police officer escort him out of the jail(?). How was he handcuffed? Why & how did the struggle start? Did the officer have a stun gun on him/her etc.? At the very least I think the Police needs to rethink their training methods. A violent death is never a good thing. The shooting death of a handcuffed prisoner = many questions.

Why isn't the El Paso community demanding charges to be brought against this killer police officer?? Who on earth gave him the license to kill? A few college credits and a month long day camp? This is insane! It's as though no one cares until it's their loved one.

Lets hear both sides of the story because they always take care of their own. I got mad last nite when channel 7 kept repeating his rap sheet and never metioned the officers name.

I agree! Let's hear the cops rap sheet! That's the violent person here...not Danny! I mean Danny caused a struggle but this "police officer" KILLED someone. Someone who was unarmed, restrained, and therefore not dangerous. Being arrested for whatever list of charges the police gave and being convicted of those charges is a big difference.

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