Texas: protest planned for unarmed black man killed by police officer

Danny Ray Thomas was wandering with his trousers around his ankles on a Houston street when he was shot dead by a deputy

A protest and their home communities session are planned for Monday at the location where an unarmed black man with his trousers around his ankles was killed by a Texas police officer.

Danny Ray Thomas appeared to be experiencing a mental health crisis when he was shot dead last month by a deputy with the Harris county sheriff’s office who encountered the 34 -year-old walking on a north Houston street.

” Until our local officials set policies in place that will discipline officers for shooting an unarmed man, we will continue to see these things ,” said Tarsha Jackson, criminal justice director of the Texas Organizing Project, an advocacy group.

” The community is hopeful that there is a fair investigation but the fact that his pants were down to his ankles is an indication that there is something going on, there’s something mentally wrong with this man, and how can you feel jeopardized when you actually are the one with the handgun?[ The policeman] could have utilized a Taser if he felt he was in danger.

” Until we get leadership across the board, local, country, and federal, that’s demanding that policemen stop being a magistrate, juror and executioner on the street, we’re going to see this .”

Harris county sheriff Ed Gonzalez has pledged a transparent and thorough investigation and released dashcam video. The footage demonstrates Thomas engaged in a minor verbal and physical altercation with another man. He then walks towards the officer, Cameron Brewer, 44.

The officer, who is black, yells:” I’ll shoot your ass, man, get down, human! … Get down on the ground! Get on the ground !”

The shooting takes place off camera. Gonzalez told reporters Brewer had been issued with a body camera merely about two hours before, but it was charging in the deputy’s auto at the time of the incident.

In cellphone video published by the Houston Chronicle, Thomas is insured strolling towards Brewer, who backs off while pointing his weapon at the man.

” He about to get Tased ,” a woman tells, laughing. A happen vehicle overshadows the moment of the shooting. The girl exclaims:” Why he shot him? Why he shot that man? He should’ve got Tased .”

The time between Brewer arriving at the intersection and firing a single, fatal shooting into Thomas’ chest is less than 30 seconds.

Gonzalez told reporters Thomas was ” froth at the mouth” before the shot.” It is concerning that Mr Thomas was unarmed; he was obviously in a state of crisis of some kind ,” he told the Chronicle.” To go straight to[ lethal force ], that’s concerning to me .”

Thomas’ two children, aged five and seven, were allegedly drowned by their mother in a bathtub in 2016 and their bodies concealed under a neighbour’s house.

Thomas succumbed on the afternoon of 22 March, the same day protesters demonstrated in Sacramento after another unarmed African American man, Stephon Clark, was shot dead in his grandmother’s back yard by policemen. More protests followed. On Friday Clark’s family told an independent autopsy depicted the 22 -year-old was shot from behind seven times.

On Friday night, the police chief in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, announced that Blake Salamoni, the policeman who killed Alton Sterling in 2016, had been sacked, though he is not facing charges. Footage released on Friday showed Salamoni swearing at Sterling and threatening to shoot him in the head.

Kita Thomas-Smith, Thomas’s sister, dedicated a tearful address to Houston city council members last week.

” My brother was unarmed , not trying to harm, and possibly just wanted to have someone assist him ,” she told.” What happened to my brother should not have happened.

” To have this going on in my family, to me, it’s unimaginable. It’s unimaginable and it’s unacceptable what happened. This is not just’ I’m sorry ‘, it’s much more than that. You took somebody’s life, an innocent life … He took a life when he could have saved him .”

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