Community protest demands justice for 17-year-old shot by SAPD officer

Laynie Clark, Managing Editor

On Tuesday, Oct. 11, San Antonio’s chapter of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) and ACT 4 SA organized a protest on the steps of the San Antonio Police Department’s (SAPD) headquarters to demand justice for Erik Cantu — a 17-year-old boy who is currently on life support after being shot by an SAPD officer.

Speakers from PSL and other members of the San Antonio community participated in the protest. Alyssa Doublet, a member of PSL, detailed the incident that left Cantu in critical condition.

“The video, which has gone viral, is a disgusting situation that the 17-year-old was put in,” Doublet said. “These two teenagers were sitting in their car eating … the police officer went to the car and flung the door open, caught Erik off guard literally with a hamburger in his hand, attempted to identify him but only took like less than a second and started shooting. He unloaded, like, five rounds into the car, and when the car tried to drive away, he proceeded to shoot.” 

Doublet further explained that while Officer Brennand was fired for the incident, it was not enough. The protest was aimed at getting SAPD to convict Brennand and hold him accountable for his actions.

“Right now, our goal is to elevate the case to a grand jury, have [Brennand] get [tried] and he needs to get charged with attempted murder,” Doublet said.

Ananda Tomas, founder and executive director of ACT 4 SA, expressed frustration with SAPD and their lack of initiative. 

“It has been over a week and this officer is still walking free,” Tomas said. “We know that there is an ability to press charges and arrest this officer and that those in power are refusing to do so … we had a 13-year-old boy, AJ Hernandez, shot and killed very similar to what happened to Erik … that cop didn’t get fired … that cop has not had any charges put against him … this is a systemic issue that doesn’t just stop with SAPD.”

Tomas also explained the importance of the community and how they can help PSL and ACT 4 SA in holding law enforcement accountable. 

“We have to stand together to change this,” Tomas said. “We need you to stay with us, to get active, to get involved … find out how you can help, how you can raise up your voices, how you can make these legislative changes … make sure that these cops are not just getting fired. [Make sure] that they are getting arrested, they’re getting charged, they’re getting indicted and they’re going to jail.”

As of Tuesday evening, Brennand has been arrested and faces two counts of aggravated assault by a public servant. If Cantu dies, those charges will be changed to murder.


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