A naked man, who was wandering the streets in a Texas neighborhood, has been shot and killed by police on Monday morning. Apparently, the 17-year-old African-American suspect was killed after he charged at police officers, sources said.
Police were called to Natures Bend around 9:57 a.m. because reports said that a man was behaving quite erratically. “My partner saw someone wandering around in front of the house,” says Erik Bremer, neighbor.
— TWC News Austin (@TWCNewsAustin) February 9, 2016
— Austin Statesman (@statesman) February 9, 2016
The Austin Police Chief of Staff, Brian Manley, said in a press conference that the officer on duty managed to track down the teenage suspect on East Yager Lane and found him completely naked. “The officer approached the suspect who was behaving aggressively,” Manley explained.
When the suspect failed to comply to the officer’s commands, he then proceeded by lunging at the officer. The officer then shot the suspect, who died on the way to St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center. Austin Police Department confirmed that no taser was used in the incident.
Myneeka Holloway, a neighbor in the area, heard about the shooting in a Facebook post. She wanted to go outside to try and help the teen, but sadly it was too late. “I don’t know why a taser wasn’t used. I just get worried. We’re trying for kids and we want a son, so I just hope everything was handled properly,” Holloway said.
Before the tragic shooting, neighbors, who reside in the Springs of Walnut Creek neighborhood said that their town’s Facebook page had numerous postings about a person who was acting quite strangely and erratically in their neighborhood.
According to KXAN, the name of the officer hasn’t been released to the public just yet. Nevertheless, sources said that he has been with the police department for 10 years. Also, the name of the deceased hasn’t been released, either. In the meantime, police are currently interviewing those who witnessed the horrific crime scene.
An officer’s dash camera managed to capture part of the incident, but police have not said whether they are going to release the footage or not.
As of right now, the crime scene still remains under investigation. Once more details come in regarding the incident, police will release more information to the media.
The president of Austin’s NAACP is baffled by this senseless shooting, and is now questioning if it was legal or not. Furthermore, this type of crime happens every single day, especially in this country. “We see a rush to judgment and as a result, somebody is dead. Normally it’s always somebody black, in this city and this country,” says Nelson Linder, NAACP President.
Meanwhile, the police officer involved in the tragedy has now been placed on administrative leave from the department.
“The question is, how do you address your policy now? If it allows this kind of shooting, it’s not of value. The problem with these shootings is often times APD, they don’t appear to enforce their own policies. If that’s the case we have a major problem because if you have a policy and don’t follow it, then what good is it?” says Linder.
Linder also released a statement on the incident that took the life of a young man who may or may not been armed-this detail remains unclear at this time. It is also not clear whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the incident as well.
“I don’t see how a young man who’s naked, and not hurting anybody, winds up being dead. When in reality, those things require constraint and understanding, as opposed to deadly force,” Linder said.
According to Fox 7 Austin, between 2000-2014, Austin endured 74 shootings, all of which were officer-related. In 2007 and 2013, there were approximately 9 shootings that occurred. The average comes out to be roughly five shootings per year.
Stay tuned for complete updates on this story.
UPDATE: Man killed By Police Is Identified As 17-Year-Old David Joseph
The Austin Police Department identified the person shot by police on Monday as 17-year-old David Joseph. Police also identified the officer involved in the incident as Geoffrey Freeman, a veteran policeman who joined the department in 2005.
“All of our officer-involved shootings are tragedies,” Manley said. Manley also confirmed that the teen was unarmed at the time of the shooting.
In regards to Officer Freeman, Manley said that he provided a statement at the crime scene, but is expected to make a longer statement to police investigators later on this week.
Manley didn’t want to provide a statement whether the shooting victim had a history of mental illness or if he had a previous criminal record. “Now is not the day,” he said
In addition to a criminal investigation, there will also be an internal investigation to determine if Officer Freeman followed APD’s compliance policies on the day of the incident.
[Image by Blaj Gabriel/Shutterstock]