Houston, TX – Last week Houston police officers claimed they shot and killed a 27-year-old, unnamed man after he charged them, but recent cell phone video of the encounter shows a different story.
According to officials, the police responded to a call that a man was jumping in and out of traffic and was possibly suicidal. When officers arrived on the scene, residents in the area told them the man was jumping fences and threatening people with a weapon. That weapon was later found to be a short piece of rebar. Although residents say the man threatened people with a “weapon”, no one was injured in any way by the man.
Police claimed the man threatened them and did not comply with their orders when they approached him. According to a statement given by Houston Police Chief, Art Acevedo, the officers involved in the shooting had no choice but to open fire and kill the man as he charged them.
“It’s tough for everybody but it’s most tough for a mother that gave birth to a son,” Acevedo said during a news briefing on the scene. “All I could tell her was that whatever demons he was dealing with, as a person of faith, he’s in a perfect state in God’s hands.”
Acevedo went on to note that suicide by cop is an unfortunate reality in America.
“Mental health experts don’t like using that term, suicide by cop. I know that’s a term used frequently around the country, but this was a person who was not compliant. I think the facts speak for themselves, and I will let people draw their own conclusions,” Acevedo said.
Acevedo said all officers were wearing body-worn cameras, and investigators will review the footage.
Though police claim the man charged officers, the video shows he was on his knees when multiple officers opened fire.
In the video, the man is first shot with a bean bag round as he appears to be crawling towards the cops. The non-lethal bean bag round does not appear to sto him, however he is still on his knees. The cops then deploy tasers and the man is seen throwing something at them. This was likely the tiny piece of rebar as we can hear it clink when it hits the pavement on the video — hitting no one. Moments later, while the man is still on his knees, cops dump at least 20 rounds into him.
The video was posted by Dan Scarberry who said the man killed was a good friend of his. “A good friend of mine was murdered while on his knees by multiple police officers. Please show this video to everyone you can and hopefully it will be seen by the ones who can prevent this kind of tragedy in the future. He was only 27 years old………..” wrote Scarberry.