SAN ANTONIO – The families of two men killed by San Antonio police officers in separate incidents are gathering for a peaceful protest Sunday afternoon.
The gathering, set for 2 p.m. Sunday at Milam Park, is in wake of the shooting deaths of Marquise Jones and Charles Roundtree.
Jones, 23, was shot to death during an incident outside Chacho’s Restaurant on Feb. 28, 2014. He was shot by off-duty San Antonio police officer Robert Encina.
Encina was working security at the restaurant when a green Cadillac rear-ended another vehicle in the drive-thru, according to a previous KSAT 12 report.
The officer said when he approached the driver’s side of the Cadillac, he saw marijuana and alcohol in the vehicle, along with a gun that was allegedly stashed between Jones’ legs. Jones was sitting in the front passenger seat.
As Encina struggled to handcuff the driver of the vehicle after getting him out of the car, Jones exited from the other side, according to our previous report.
Encina and another restaurant employee, Anthony Molina, testified in court that they both saw Jones raise a revolver about chest high and point it toward them.
That’s when Encina fired eight shots with one hand from the opposite side of the vehicle as Jones fled the scene.
According to the autopsy report, Jones was struck once in the back, killing him.
Jones’ family sued Encina and the city for damages in federal court, claiming Encina used excessive and unreasonable force and violated Jones’ constitutional rights. They also claimed the city investigation was a cover-up and that SAPD’s lack of supervision and discipline led to the incident.
However, a grand jury later ruled against Jones’ family, claiming Encina didn’t use excessive and unnecessary deadly force.
During Sunday’s protest, Jone’s aunt, Debbie Bush, said she hopes the case can be reopened.
“Whenever there’s a murder by police, we as families relive this, over and over and over again,” said Bush. “We are fighting to have our case reopened and looked at."
San Antonio police officers were also involved in the shooting death of Roundtree.
Roundtree, 18, was shot as officers responded to an assault call at a home in the 200 block of Roberts Street on Oct. 17, 2018.
Roundtree was in the home with 24-year-old Davante Snowden and another man. Officers said Snowden did not respond to commands and reached for a gun in his waistband. Officer Steve Casanova opened fire on Snowden, but also shot and killed Roundtree who was in the line of fire. Snowden survived his injuries.
Police said the home was a drug house they had been called to dozens of times.
A Bexar County grand jury voted July 18, 2019, not to indict Casanova and he was cleared of all charges.
Roundtree’s adoptive mother was at Sunday’s protest and she said ultimately, she is grateful for the community support.
“I am appreciative of these people coming out and also bringing his name and putting his name back out there, and Marquise’s name back out there. This is what we wanted. They are not be forgotten,” said Roundtree.
It’s unclear if the officers are still with the SAPD.