SAN ANTONIO – After three hours of deliberation, a jury ruled San Antonio police officer Robert Encina was justified in shooting and killing Marquise Jones outside of a Chacho's three years ago.
There will be no damages awarded to the Jones family.
Closing arguments in the long-awaited wrongful death civil trial ended Wednesday afternoon at the federal courthouse.
The Jones family attorneys claimed that Officer Encina’s decision to use lethal force was not justified when he shot Jones in the back as he ran from the scene of a fender bender in February of 2014.
The lawsuit also claimed the San Antonio Police Department withheld critical information from the investigation into the incident, leading to Encina being no-billed in 2015. In addition, the plaintiffs accused the City of San Antonio of providing little disciplinary structure within the police department, resulting in Encina pulling the trigger.
In ruling that Encina did not use excessive force, the jury also cleared SAPD and the city of liability.
“We’re always sorry that anyone loses a family member under any circumstance,” said Encina’s attorney Mark Ralls. “But unfortunately we believe it was his action that caused officer Encina reaction.”
Jones family attorney Daryl Washington promised the family will appeal the decision, saying there was critical evidence that wasn’t allowed in the courtroom.
“It's a disappointment not only for the Jones family but for the hundreds of other families throughout the United States who have lost kids to senseless violence at the hands of individuals who are served to protect,” said Washington.
San Antonio’s City Manager Sheryl Sculley released the statement below:
“Today, a federal court jury in San Antonio returned a verdict in favor of the City and Officer Encina in the Marquise Jones case. While we agree with the jury’s verdict, we fully recognize that there is never any victory in a fatal shooting. Our condolences continue to be extended to the family of Marquise Jones on the loss of a loved one. The Mayor, City Council, City staff and the San Antonio Police Department will continue on the path toward building stronger relationships with the communities we serve. Only through a partnership with the community can we achieve a safe and trusting environment for all.”