'Target cop' in viral video 'volunteered,' says boss

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 20 2016 07:49 PM

The Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office (NOCPPO) on Monday alleged that PO1 Marvin Gustilo, the police officer caught on video being used as a shooting target last month, volunteered to do so.

In a statement, NOCPPO said PSupt. Frederick Mead, officer-in-charge of Victorias City Police Station, was undergoing a two-day training at the Victorias Station Target Range, when the incident shown on the video occurred.

The training, which started May 17, was done to enhance the capability of the police personnel of the Victorias City Police Station, as well as to prepare for the creation of a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team that Mead was planning to put up.

On May 19, Mead was demonstrating confidence firing. He initially used balloons as his target.

NOCPPO said that Gustilo volunteered to hold two balloons in his hands, with one in between his knees, as Mead's targets.

Mead was able to shoot the two balloons in Gustilo's hands, but failed to hit the third target. He, instead, accidentally shot Gustilo's right knee.

Mead was relieved as officer-in-charge on May 20 while the investigation was being conducted. He, however, reassumed his post on June 13 when the investigation was finished.

NOCPPO said they found evidence that there was negligence on the part of Mead, and that he would be facing appropriate charges.

They added that Mead was allowed to reassume his post because the NOCPPO saw "no irregularity as there is no policy being violated."

Mead's case will be referred to appropriate administrative disciplinary authority to determine his liability in the incident.

The video of the incident went viral after Facebook user Jun Ledesma posted it online.

Ledesma also claimed that the NOCPPO was biased towards Mead, and appealed to higher-ranking police officials to hold him accountable for grave abuse of authority.