Limiting Jacksonville Police Discretion after Texas Eighth Grader Gunned Down In School

Jacksonville police are highly trained and are in mass numbers to protect and serve our city. However, many times police overstep their bounds and abuse their discretion, ending in the death of Jacksonville’s citizens. When this happens, one should obtain an experienced attorney to fight for their case and make sure that the one that is deceased did not die in vain.

According to The Florida Times-Union, the Texas police gunned down Jaime Gonzalez, a 15 year old eighth-grader, in the hallway of his middle school. The police arrived on the scene after a report that Gonzalez was brandishing a firearm in the school. Police arrived on the scene, where there was a statement made that Gonzalez was willing to die; police shot Gonzalez soon after. AK887.jpg

Police discretion in Jacksonville, as well as other areas around Jacksonville tend to be less strict than other areas where lawmakers have more control. Many law enforcement experts agree that when a suspect raises a weapon and does not put it down when requested to by police, the police are justified in taking the suspect’s life. However, just because deadly force is justified does not make deadly force necessary.

Police have the duty to protect society from dangerous people; however, dangerous people, no matter what they have done, have rights, both constitutional and fundamental. One of these rights is the right to live. It is for the court to decide through criminal proceedings whether someone’s life should end, rather than a police officer who sometimes acts as the final judge.

In the case of Gonzalez, Gonzalez was brandishing a pellet gun and refused to put the gun down. However, the police say they thought that this was a higher caliber weapon. Even though Gonzalez had not at any point fired a shot, he was still gunned down because the police believed he was dangerous.

There are many ways by which the police are able to subdue someone dangerous, for example tasers, gas, bean bag guns or other various methods. However, these methods are not first considered before using deadly force to subdue the suspect. Because of these decisions, be it from the supervising officers or the individual officers facing the suspect, many die, forever stopping their right to a trial.

According to Gonzalez’s school district superintendent, Gonzalez was not a bad child. Gonzalez was simply a child who made, maybe a crazy decisions, but a decision nevertheless, that cost him his life. Gonzalez could have been subdued, had a trial, and then gone through rehabilitation, rather than meet his very unfortunate end.


If and when something very tragic like this happens, one should contact an experienced Jacksonville police actions attorney to fight for the deceased and the family of the deceased so that their death and pain will not be in vain.

The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Source: Question of when police should shoot after cops kill Texas eighth-grader who had pellet gun, Associated Press, The Florida Times-Union