There’s a list of things you don’t do when the police are involved, including mouthing off, giving chase or being anywhere near a weapon. But if you didn’t know this before, you need to add “handling your cell phone” to the list.
On Sunday night, around 9:30 pm, the Dallas police force responded to a 911 call reporting noises from loud talking to firearms discharge. When the authorities arrived, they found a handful of people playing music in the backyard. Some people fled into the nearby garage, but Able R. Martinez just sat there on a trampoline, with his back to the officers.
Things got bad when Martinez, who was holding a black object, moved his hand. The officers thought he was pointing a weapon at one of their colleagues. When he didn’t respond to bilingual commands (in English and Spanish) to lie on the ground, Officer Paul Ford shot and killed him. They soon found out that the object wasn’t a weapon, of course, but a mobile phone.
So Martinez wasn’t the one who fired the gun that urged neighbors to call 911, and he wasn’t one of the suspects who fled. He was the poor schlub whose error in judgment got him killed.
Unbelievable. And yet, I’m kind of surprised this doesn’t happen more often. In a highly tense, nervewracking situation, a black cell phone could easily be mistaken for a weapon. So remember this the next time you get pulled over. Or if the cops are called in to handle your otherwise charming, but momentarily belligerent (and drunk) friend. Or, for that matter, any time you are dealing with a law enforcement officer on official business.
As for the guy who actually shot the .40 pistol that started all this, Raul Martinez was apprehended at the scene. Yep, same last name. I wonder if they were related. Geez, like this wasn't sad enough...