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San Benito police shooting one of 2018’s top stories

January 2, 2019

SAN BENITO — Like April Treviño, most residents here grew up trusting police as officers sworn to protect them.

Last month, many began questioning that trust after police killed her 21-year-old son Ricardo Treviño III in a hail of gunfire.

The decisions made shortly before Ricardo Treviño’s death make this one of the top local stories of 2018.

Outside City Hall, friends and family have called for changes at the top of the police department.

Three weeks after the shooting, April Treviño and her family are demanding what they call “justice.”

Members of the family, who have hired attorney John Blaylock, have said they will file a lawsuit against the city.

On Dec. 7, police apparently began following Ricardo Treviño’s car after a San Benito church called an ambulance to treat him after he took too many Tylenol pills.

Within moments, Treviño began recording the chase through Facebook as his stepfather Art Flores called dispatchers to tell police the suspect was his stepson, whom family members described as unarmed and mentally challenged.

After Treviño ended the 12-minute chase on Ranch Park Road in El Ranchito, the recording apparently shows him parking his car moments before police shoot him in a barrage of gunfire as he sat in the car.

The Texas Rangers’ preliminary investigation found Treviño drove his car head-on into a police car.

However, Blaylock said Treviño’s car was parked in a ditch, posing no threat to police.

According to Blaylock, police used “excessive force.”

“ I’ve never seen a more preventable killing,” Blaylock, a former prosecutor, has said.

Meanwhile, the Texas Rangers continue their investigation to determine whether police followed policy and procedures in the minutes leading to Treviño’s death.

fdelvalle@valleystar.com

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