HOUSTON --The Houston Police Department released body camera and surveillance footage of a fatal officer-involved shooting and its bloody aftermath on the agency's YouTube channel on Thursday.
The video released by HPD appears to show the moments before and after the July 9 shooting of Alva Braziel, but not the shooting itself. The full video can be viewed on the police department's YouTube channel. (Warning: Graphic footage and language)
The footage prior to the shooting is from a surveillance camera at a nearby gas station. The police body cameras weren't rolling until after the shooting, according to the Houston officials.
The footage after the shooting shows officers approaching the man's body and observing a gun clasped in his hand, then removing it.
Asked why video of the actual fatal shooting was not part of the release, HPD Acting Chief of Police Martha I. Montalvo said: "The body camera footage doesn't capture the shooting of Mr. Braziel. The two officers viewed the threat to themselves and the public as immediate, stopped their patrol vehicle and exited the vehicle even before it was in park. Once the threat was contained, officers activated their cameras."
Montalvo said police department guidelines acknowledge that officers may need to act quickly to ensure their own safety and that of others before focusing on activating their body cameras, but they are supposed to activate them as soon as it is safe to do so.
The department is investigating whether proper body camera policies were followed in this case, she said.
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Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Wednesday while "unfortunate," the shooting was justified.
Braziel's widow reacted with emotion and outrage Thursday morning. She said body cameras show her husband didn't threaten law enforcement.
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Nikita Braziel demanded justice and said the video doesn't exonerate HPD.
"They don't even shoot a dog as many times as they shot him," said Braziel. "They killed him for no reason. There are no answers, no questions, no nothing right now. I gotta bury him Saturday but I want justice from HPD."
Braziel watched the footage at HPD Headquarters Thursday morning.
"You can see the laws shoot him down and his hands with his pistol in his hands. They say he pointed it at them. He didn't point no gun at them. They say he waved at them. He didn't wave no gun at them. You can hear the people on the side say 'why are you shooting him down like that?'" said Braziel. "You can hear the law come back to his truck and say (expletive).' They (expletive) up."