This week's release of body camera video demonstrates what happens when overconfident officers get behind the wheel and drive as though they are invincible. Their reckless and hazardous cowboy techniques have the potential to and will result in the pain and death of innocent people. Michael Wayne Jackson's family and friends recently learned this lesson the hard way when officer Orlando Hernandez leapt his vehicle onto the sidewalk and murdered the 62-year-old.
Although the incident occurred on December 4, 2021, the body camera video was just recently revealed. Hernandez and his colleague officer Anthony Aranda were travelling at speeds over 100 miles per hour in their cruiser as they assisted another cop in pursuing individuals who were allegedly engaged in a carjacking.
Given that the suspects were on foot, there was no justification to drive 80-100 mph through a residential area. Despite these data, Hernandez drove erratically and with just one hand on the wheel as he sped through the neighbourhood at more than twice the posted speed limit.
Adding to the chase's irresponsibility was the fact that it had been raining that afternoon, resulting in wet roadways. According to authorities, Jackson was walking west on the sidewalk in the 4100 block of Reed Road when Hernandez ran a red light and then turned the steering wheel 180 degrees to avoid colliding with oncoming traffic.
Hernandez drove the cruiser onto the sidewalk immediately after avoiding striking automobiles, colliding with Jackson and continued for about 50 feet before colliding with trash.
Hernandez and Aranda flee from the vehicle after striking Jackson, as bystanders cry in fear.
"I need HFD assistance," Hernandez informed dispatch. "I simply got wrecked," he said as if the whole accident were not his fault. "I'm sorry, Scott and Reed. One male patient will be rendered unconscious, unable to breathe, and bleeding profusely from the skull."
Hernandez repeated, "Sir, sir, sir," as he shook Jackson's motionless body. "Sir, arouse yourself."
However, Jackson would never reawaken. On the scene, he was declared dead. He was on his way to a barbershop nearby for a haircut.
An internal inquiry has been launched, but no charges have been filed after a month.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Houston police have not revealed any other results from their investigation, including telemetry data from the cruiser's computer indicating the cruiser's true speed and whether or not Hernandez engaged the brakes. Hernandez was "driving at an unsafe speed" and "executed an erroneous evasive motion," accident investigators with the Houston Police Department's vehicular crimes branch stated in a collision report.
Hernandez and Aranda remain on active duty, and Hernandez has not been charged with any crimes. If he had been a citizen, rest confident that he would have been instantly prosecuted and imprisoned.