HOUSTON - Houston police have shot and killed six people since April 21. On Monday activists spoke out, demanding body cam video be released showing what led up to those shootings.
Civil rights leaders staged outside of Houston Police Headquarters Monday morning demanding transparency, as an alarming number of people have been killed by police gunfire in just over a month’s time.
“There’s been a spate of shootings by HPD,” said activist Randall Kallinen. “Chief Acevedo said we are going to be transparent.”
The activists included retired law enforcement, leaders of Black Lives matter, the Greater Houston Coalition for Justice, and We the People Organize—all demanding that police release bodycam footage of the shootings.
“Six shootings—not one single video has been released to the public,” said Kallinen.
The deadly police shootings include the shooting of Nicolas Chavez on April 21 who was captured on cell phone video kneeling before being killed by police.
Then, police shot and killed Christophe Aguirre on April 27.
Gospel singer Adrian Madearis was killed by police May 8 in a shooting in which the police chief says Madearis fought and pointed a taser at the officer before being killed.
Police shot and killed Rayshard Scales May 14.
The deadly police shooting of escaped mental patient Randy Roszell Lewis occurred May 16.
Monday morning, police shot and killed a 43-year-old man on Capridge Drive—a residential street on the south side of Houston. Police say the man pointed a gun at officers before officers shot and killed him.
“Every part of me hurts right now because black and brown people we keep seeing in the last 30 days being murdered,” said Ashton Woods from Black Lives Matter.
Some of the activists held signs reading “abolish the police” and “HPD racist killer cops.”
Houston police declined to comment on the protest Monday, instead referencing Chief Acevedo’s press conference May 11 when he said part of why he’s not immediately releasing police video is that if an officer does get indicted, he doesn’t want the videos to create so much publicity that the judge would have to move the trial outside of the county.
“I think that transparency is key, and transparency means that we’re willing to release everything once we get through the process,” said Acevedo on May 11.
The other reason Acevedo said he’s holding off on releasing body cam video is the families of those killed.
“Not everybody wants their loved one to be in cyberspace for the rest of eternity and their last minute on earth to be public,” said Acevedo. “That’s somebody’s brother, son, friend, child.”