An investigator with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office said transparency and community trust is key when investigating incidents where law enforcement officers us force.
Today the District Attorney’s Office released June surveillance video from inside of the Port Arthur Walgreens on Highway 365, which investigators said captured Michael Briscoe robbing the store at gunpoint.
Moments later, after a chase through a nearby parking lot, a Port Arthur Police Officer fatally shot Briscoe.
“I think officers in this case used extreme caution, patience, they pleaded with him to drop the gun,” Marcelo Molfino, Unfortunately it didn't happen and when MR. Briscoe turned in the manner he did with the firearm, the officer was forced to protect his own life and the others that were there.
A situation that Molfino said was tragic for everyone – especially Briscoe and his family.
The decision to pull the trigger on a suspect is a choice many officers face in their line of work.
“(Some) are second guessing themselves or thinking about what's going to happen if I do this,” Molfino said. “When their training and gut tells them do my job. In a split second you can have an officer hurt, killed because in this job it's a game of seconds.”
That’s why when Molfino investigates incidents where officers use force, his work is thorough and transparent to maintain the trust of the community.
He said building a good relationship with the community and compliance from citizens when dealing with the community and compliance from citizens when dealing with officers has helped keep problems in Jefferson County to a minimum.
Relationships and habits Molfino hopes continues.
Molfino said there are bad apples in law enforcement across the country. But he said those officers stick out like sore thumbs and many don’t wear the uniform long due to others officers keeping them in check.