Statement on Fatal Shooting of Teenager by Austin Police Officer

Affiliate: ACLU of Texas
February 9, 2016 9:15 pm

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HOUSTON — Austin Police Chief of Staff Brian Manley today confirmed that Austin Police Department Officer Geoffrey Freeman fatally shot an unarmed 17-year-old, David Joseph, on Monday. Freeman opened fire within seconds of the confrontation. Only a portion of the incident was captured by dashboard camera footage; audio footage recorded Freeman ordering Joseph to stop repeatedly.

The following may be attributed to Terri Burke, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas:

“Two Texas officer-involved fatal shootings of unarmed black men within days is beyond tragic, because we have the answers to avoid these senseless deaths. Last year, the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing released its recommendations for building public trust by focusing on police accountability and training. It’s clear that officers whose first instinct is to reach for their guns pose a threat to communities of color. The need is urgent: Officers must be provided with de-escalation training and law enforcement agencies must hold officers who use excessive and lethal force to account. We cannot afford another loss of life.”

Late last week, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus confirmed that San Antonio Police Department Officer John Lee fatally shot an unarmed 36-year-old, Antronie Scott, in the course of an attempted arrest. Lee mistook Scott’s cell phone for a weapon.

View the ACLU of Texas’ statement on the shooting of Antronie Scott:

View the Final Report of the President’s Task Force:

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