A federal lawsuit is leveling some serious claims that, within the San Antonio Police Department, there are problems with excessive force.
The suit stems from the death of Marquis Jones, 23, who was shot to death by Robert Encina, an off-duty officer who was working security Chaco's and Chalucci's, a restaurant on Perrin Bital. He was a passenger in a car that was involved in a collision in the drive-through lane.
"Out of nowhere, defendant Encina approached (the car) and demanded that he turn off his vehicle and get out of his car for no lawful reason," the 26 page suit reads. "Jones, witnessing how defendant Encina was treating (the driver), became afraid and decided he would leave so that he would not be attacked by defendant Encina."
The suit, filed this week, quotes Jones's parents as saying that Officer Encina harassed him a few days earlier.
As Jones tried to escape, the suit reads that he was shot in the back "for no lawful reason or fear of imminent danger."
The details are different from the police report, which reads that Jones was armed and Encina feared for his life. A gun was recovered near Jones.
Jones family attorney Daryl Washington says that's not true, and Encina has a history of targeting African Americans for harassment. He points to an incident three years ago where the officer, while off duty, attacked black patrons at the Mama Margie's on Interstate Ten. No criminal charges were filed. Encina was suspended for 45 days.
Washington says it's a lack of training in SAPD and what he sees as a pattern of cover-ups that's rampant in the department.
"If they had taken what happened in 2010 and looked at that very serious, and not just slapped him on the hand, Marquis Jones could well be alive today."
SAPD Spokeswoman Sandy Gutierrez referred our request for comment to the City Attorneys office. No response has been received.