People are divided on whether a Fort Bend, Texas Sheriff’s Department deputy was justified in his recent fatal shooting of a mentally ill man.
The shooting took place on November 4, 2013 inside a Fort Bend residence. There, family members of Michael Blair, a 26-year-old paranoid schizophrenic, called police to their home to help get Blair under control. He had locked himself in a bathroom with a knife and was injuring himself.
Video footage shows deputies initially trying to convince Blair to open the door and let them in. He wouldn't. After warning him, they kick in the door. Blair is then seen inside with a knife and blood stains on his shirt from where he injured himself.
The deputies first tried to verbally convince Blair to drop the knife. He refused. They then tasered him in hopes of getting him to release his grip, but their attempts were unsuccessful. The police continued coaxing and yelling at Blair for several minutes. Suddenly, Blair got up and started moving in towards one of the deputies. The deputy unloaded a clip into Blair, killing him instantly.
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While some who have seen the video say the deputy was justified in his shooting, Blair’s family disagrees. They say the deputy murdered Blair and used excessive force by shooting him nearly a dozen times.
"This is cold-blooded execution," community activist Quanell X said on the family's behalf. "He was not a threat to anyone but himself. They could have left him in the bathroom."
The deputy has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Fort Bend Sheriff’s Department. The family turned the video over to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Houston with the hope of authorities opening up an investigation.
Was the deputy justified in his killing of Blair? Watch this video and decide for yourself: