Police Chief Art Acevedo showed the graphic bodycam video, later released publicly, and announced the department’s findings in the April 27 shooting of 27-year-old man Nicholas Chavez.
Acevedo said on Thursday that Chavez was provoked by several Taser cartridges, bean bags and three gunshots before the four officers were fired – a total of 21 shots he had shot in the final moments of the 15-minute encounter.
Chavez is seen crawling and dragging the video over the wires attached to the police taser before the final barrage of bullets. “Don’t do this,” an officer is heard saying. As soon as the tusser fell in his hand, the bullet fired.
Acevedo stated that two cartridges in the Taser were discharged.
Hours after the police union condemned his termination, the chief said officers were appealing.
Acevedo said that despite repeated verbal warnings, deploying several soft impact rounds and two tasers, Chavez was still “armed with a metal object and began to accelerate toward the officer who fired the first two shots.” Done.
But he finally improperly called a barrage of bullets.
“The discharge of those 21 shots by those four members is not objectively fair,” Acevedo said. “I don’t think of them as objectively justified; the chain of command doesn’t consider them objectively justified and I believe that whoever sees it … sees that they had a lot of opportunities and many Other options are readily available to him. ”
“You don’t have to shoot someone 21 times because at the time, when we discharged those 21 rounds, Mr. Chavez was at his greatest level of incompetence,” he said.
The incident began with several 911 calls about an apparently emotionally disturbed man jumping in front of cars and entering a backyard.
Acevedo said toxicology tests showed Chavez found methamphetamine, amphetamine and ethanol in his system when he died.
Looking at the body camera footage, it was revealed that officers initially repeatedly appealed to the man to surrender.
“Hey, bud, we are here to help you, man,” an officer is heard saying.
Acevedo said Chavez was hit with several taser cartridges, and bean bags, as well as three bullets – which the department “purposefully justified” based on the totality of the circumstances and the facts before the final burst of bullets in the case. agreed.
Sylvester Turner, an emotional mayor, told reporters, “In this case, I have concluded that there was no imminent danger to any police officer, and they could return to their homes.” Officer Department.
Still, the Houston Police Officers Union blasted Acevedo just hours before the city’s top cop and Turner announced the department’s findings.
Union officials said the encounter lasted for about 15 minutes, during which officers attempted to de-escalate the incident before resorting to deadly force by retreating, firing bean bags and using basins on the incident. But fired a stun gun.
The Harris County District Attorney is investigating the shooting.
Joe Gamaldi, the president of the union and the national vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police, also weighed in on the racially motivated speculation of the incident. Chavez was Latino, he said. Three of the officers are Latino and the fourth is married to a Latina.
Gamaldi told reporters, “It was clear … These officers did not want to shoot Mr. Chavez and do everything in his power that he did not do.”
Douglas Griffith, the union’s first vice president, who said he was called to the scene after the shooting, defended the officers. They said they were young, for a short time on the job, and that their actions were justified by an internal police discipline committee investigation and some civilian members of an independent police monitoring board.
He said the shooting was “apparently a suicide by police” and reflected the department’s failure to properly train officers.
“These officers did everything they could. They backed up, backed up until they could no longer return,” he said.
According to Gamaldi, officers “begged and begged” Chavez to surrender. Chavez told officers several times that he wanted to shoot, Gamaldi said.
Union members said the department succumbed to political pressure after nationwide protests against police brutality.
“He has done everything that everyone in this country is doing to enforce the law,” Gamaldi was quoted as saying by the officers. “They de-escalated and retreated for 15 minutes – 15 minutes! They used every non-lethal option available. Several bean bag shotgun rounds until they ran out. They made a verbal order to Mr. Chase. All used multiple tassers. Peacefully that he does not follow. ”
Gamaldi called the firearms “unjust” and “abusive”, claiming that the victim was attempting to die through suicide by police. According to Gamaldi, authorities used restraint and “every non-lethal option available”, with Chavez pointing to a taser for him.
“This has caused a setback through our department – even if you step back, even if you follow policy, training and law, you’ll still lose your job as a Houston police officer,” Gamaldi said. Gamaldi said.