San Antonio/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 16, 2024
Ex-SAPD Officer Brennand's Trial for Shooting Teen in San Antonio McDonald's LoomsSource: Wikipedia/user:P199, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A legal showdown is on the horizon in San Antonio as former police officer James Brennand is set to stand trial in the city for the 2022 shooting of an unarmed teenager, Erik Cantu Jr., in a McDonald's parking lot. The teen, who was critically injured after being shot 10 times by Brennand, is suing the ex-officer and the City of San Antonio for what his attorney Ben Crump has described as gross negligence, according to FOX San Antonio.

The incident, which occurred on October 2, 2022, escalated when Brennand, mistakenly believing Cantu's vehicle to be stolen, confronted the teenager. As stated by FOX San Antonio, body cam footage shows Brennand opening Cantu's car door and asking him to get out. Cantu reportedly put the car into reverse to quickly drive away, striking the officer with the car door. The lawsuit asserts Brennand did not identify himself as a police officer before the confrontation.

Brennand's attorneys had sought to move the trial out of San Antonio, citing extensive media coverage as potentially influencing the jury. However, a judge has denied the request for a venue change, with jury selection slated to begin in November, News 4 San Antonio reported.

Indicted in December 2022, Brennand faces serious charges over the shooting which left Cantu hospitalized for several weeks. The former officer, who was at the McDonald’s for a separate disturbance call, recognized Cantu's car from an earlier incident. San Antonio Police Chief William McManus has characterized the shooting as unjust.