Each time a Houston, TX police officer pulls a vehicle over or is called to a home, place of business, or another establishment, they don’t know what type of situation they are entering into. That is why police officers are trained to apply force at various levels and make split-second decisions as they never know when their life is going to be threatened. While police go through extensive training to ensure they are aware of their department’s use of force policy and know how to apply it, too many officers are resorting to deadly force as their first option when handling a situation.
Austin Police Officer Shoots and Kills Unarmed Naked Teen
In 2016, Officer Geoffrey Freeman made contact with 17-year-old David Joseph who was unarmed and naked [Source: Texas Monthly]. At the time, officers did not know why the teen had been unclothed, but one thing they could confirm was that he did nothave a weapon in his possession. Even though the black teen was unarmed, Officer Freemans still resorted to applying deadly force and discharged his weapon. Although the dashcam footage failed to record the shooting on video, an audio of the encounter was captured. Freeman claimed in a statement he gave that he shot the teen after he failed to obey his commands and charged at him.
After the incident transpired, a press conference was held and the department’s assistant police chief “chose not to discuss [whether] Freeman had tried to use his Taser instead of his handgun.” He did, however, “indicate that the time between the commands being issued and the shots being fired was “a matter of seconds.” While it is understandable that the officer may have been afraid of what the teen may have done, there are plenty of other tactics that could have been employed that wouldn’t have resulted with the teen’s life being taken
This incident and many others like it involving unarmed suspects make you wonder what type of use of force policy police departments in places like Austin and Houston follow as too many officers are discharging their deadly weapons rather than addressing the situation using a less lethal tactic.
Suing a Houston, TX police officer for discharging their weapon at you or a loved one.
In 2018, a total of 18 Houston Police Department shootings were recorded [Source: City of Houston, Texas]. Seven individuals were killed while four suffered injuries. So far in 2019, there have already been 17 shootings recorded with five resulting in the death of a suspect and eight who suffered injuries. Although some of the officers who discharged their weapons in these incidents had a valid reason for doing so, others likely didn’t. And those officers and others like them must face the consequences they deserve for applying excessive force.
Therefore, if you or a loved one were unarmed and shot by a Houston, TX police officer and you believe the level of force that was used was excessive, a Houston, TX police brutality attorney can determine if you have enough evidence to file suit against the officer. If you are ready to discuss your matter with an attorney in your area now who is eager to help you, contact Blizzard Law, PLLC.
You can reach Blizzard Law, PLLC at:
5020 Montrose Blvd.
Houston, TX 77006