The Cold-Blooded Police Murder of Patrick Warren Sr.

“A mental health call should not be a death sentence”



Editors' Note: We received the following from a reader.

On Sunday evening, January 10, police shot and killed Patrick Warren Sr., a 52-year-old unarmed Black man, on the front lawn of his home in Killeen in central Texas.

Earlier that afternoon, Warren’s family had placed a 911 “psychiatric call,” seeking help to deal with a beloved family member in crisis. Patrick Warren Sr., who his family said was their sole provider, had recently lost his job because of a pandemic-caused layoff. His life insurance policy had expired. Trouble weighed on him. His neighbors told a local TV station that despite all this, he remained a “nice guy.”

But instead of sending someone qualified to interact with and help a fellow human wracked by emotional and psychiatric distress, Killeen authorities sent a cop. Instead of sending health professionals trained and prepared to defuse volatile situations and soothe troubled individuals humanely, they sent one of their armed enforcers, trained to brutalize and kill.

An apparently edited video from the scene shows this pig, Reynaldo Contreras, being allowed to enter the Warrens’ home. Lee Merritt, a lawyer representing the Warren family, said Contreras “escalated [the situation] almost the entire time, from the moment he entered the house until the moment of the fatal shooting.” Contreras walked out of the house, followed by Patrick Warren, who is seen waving his arms. A statement from the Killeen Police Department claims that when the two got outside, Contreras fired his Taser at Patrick Warren, but it was supposedly “ineffective.” Then Contreras unloaded three shots at point blank range into Warren, who had no weapon on him. The shots are heard, but not seen, on the available video. Patrick Warren fell, bleeding to death in front of his horrified family, as his son screamed over and over at Contreras, “I told you don’t use a gun!”

Merritt said to reporters, “A mental health call should not be a death sentence.” But in this country, all too often it is an indication to a pig that he can gun down someone with impunity, especially if the person is Black or Brown. According to the Washington Post, almost a quarter of people killed by police in 2020 (as of November) were in a mental health crisis. And a disproportionate number of those people were Black.

As of this writing, no charges have been filed against the murdering cop who gunned down Patrick Warren Sr. He is yet another Black man murdered in the unbearable toll, going back centuries, of Black people killed by this system and its enforcers.

An epidemic of police murdering Black, Latinx, and Native American people continues across this white supremacist country.

How many more will die? How much longer will this go on?



Killeen Police and Texas Rangers are Investigating an Officer Involved ShootingKilleen PD News, January 13, 2021

‘I told you, don’t use a gun:’ Video shows moments leading up to and following deadly local police shooting, KWTX, January 13, 2021

Family Mourns Man With Mental Illness Killed by Police and Calls for Change,

Fatal Force: 989 People Have Been Killed by Police in the Past Year, Washington Post, January 14, 2021

Man shot, killed by Killeen police ‘needed help,’ says lawyer, Killeen Daily Herald, January 13, 2021

“Why is Police Terror Necessary For This System?” by Bob Avakian



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