Who is Damian Lamar Daniels? (Why shot to death) Biography, Wiki
Sergeant Damian Lamar Daniels was a 31-year-old combat veteran who was shot and killed by authorities in front of his home in San Antonio, Texas, on Tuesday evening, after authorities responded to mental health calls. Daniels was described by family members, and later by authorities, as suicidal. Bexar County Police have since released body cam photos which show a bulge beneath Daniels’ shirt, which authorities say was a gun.
Following Daniels’ death, activists condemn the behavior of lawmakers who were on the scene at the time of Daniels death. Many argued that it should not be the police who would respond to a mental health call, and a counselor would be more appropriate to help Daniels on Tuesday evening.
On Tuesday, three lawmakers visited Daniels’ home twice, once in the afternoon and once at the vending machine, according to sheriff Javier Salazar. The first call came from a family member who said Daniels had suicidal thoughts. The second call came from Daniels himself. Daniels per Salazar told the authorities that he had heard something, that there was a ghost in his house and that he was experiencing paranoia.
During the first visit, officials came and spoke to Daniels, then left. They described the exchange as “short,” Salazar said. Late that evening, the authorities came back to Daniels’ house after two more calls. When Daniels came out for the second time, lawmakers could see a “bulge” under his shirt, visible in the photo above. Authorities later confirmed that the Daniels was armed with a Glock Model 22.40 caliber pistol, a second magazine, and a knife, according to San Antonio Express News.
There was a struggle during this second interaction. Authorities say Daniels tried to grab one of the lawmakers’ shock guns and then lay down on his own gun under his shirt. Eventually, one of the lawmakers shot and killed Daniels.
Amir Salazar repeatedly defended and praised the work of his officers at a press conference Wednesday. “It was very clear that [the lawmakers] were fighting for their lives,” he said at one point.
While activists have already begun to condemn the circumstances of Daniels’ death, Salazar disagreed, arguing that the officers were not fit to answer a mental health call. “Our aides and officers are being forced to become mental health workers and they are very skilled at it,” Salazar said on Wednesday. “This is a suspect that we realized he was armed too early, and I think our lawmakers were equipped to handle this situation.”
Salazar also strongly opposed the idea that racial discrimination had anything to do with Daniels’s death. “I can say for sure that this has no role in this,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
Daniels, 31, was a war veteran. It was made public the day after his death. A friend said that Daniels had recently experienced the death of a brother and another family member.
On Wednesday Chief Salazar said, “It was clear that this suspect was hopeless. Reports were suicidal and hopeless due to the loss of several family members, and there were signs of seeing things or hearing voices. ”
Details of Daniels’ service in the military are not yet clear. On Thursday, activist Shaun King wrote on Instagram that Daniels is in contact with his family and details of Daniels military service will be revealed. The king wrote,
[Daniels] Served this country with honor and distinction. And was just murdered by the Bexar County Sheriff’s Department in San Antonio, Texas IN HIS OWN HOME. He was a brilliant, kind soul. Moments ago, @leemerrittesq and I just had the hardest call imaginable with his dear mother. I won’t even repeat it. It’s what every family who goes through this has to deal with... We are going to be standing with Damian’s family and we are going to need your help.
All three lawmakers involved in Daniels’s death went on administrative leave. Officials said all three lawmakers had received more than 80 hours of crisis response training until the incident, and were also informed of the government’s mandatory crisis response updates.
According to KSAT reports, the decision to take officers on administrative leave is one of the standard procedures. Two separate investigations into Daniels’s death are underway. There was no indication from Salazar or other officials that the lawmakers involved in Daniels’ death were suspicious of his death.
After Daniels death, many people have learned of his struggle with mental health, so people are asking for a new system for those facing a mental health crisis so that police officers do not respond. these 911 calls.
According to San Antonio Express News, 50 activists gathered outside the Sheriff’s office on Wednesday, shortly after Chief Salazar announced details about Daniels’ death. Lexi Qaiyyim, promoter of Young Ambitous Activists, told the newspaper Daniels’ death is an example of why people are looking to pollute the police and reallocate funds to other forms of crisis management, such as mental health counseling.
Others mourn the death of Daniels online. One person tweeted, “Damian Lamar Daniels. His life was important, and when we needed mental health support the most, he had to face men with guns and take only 8 hours of mental health training. We cannot let this happen to our comrades again, especially to fight veterans. #JusticeForDamianLamarDaniels ”