HOUSTON - Family members of 30-year-old Ashton Broussard are raising their voices hoping to increase police transparency. Broussard was shot and killed Tuesday by a Houston police officer. On Saturday, we interviewed Broussard’s older brother Larry Broussard.
“I’m a person of faith, so I’m taking it one moment at a time,” said Larry. “There are some things that [came up] later on in his life that gave him some difficulties, mental health being one of those.”
According to Larry, his family has received only minimal information from police since the officer-involved shooting a few days ago. Larry tells us that most of the knowledge they have from Tuesday’s shooting is from news reports.
“We haven’t heard anything from them in detail,” said Larry. “His parents want to know what took place.”
According to HPD, a female security guard was taking pictures of a nightclub when Ashton Broussard punched her and stole her semi-automatic pistol. The man ran away with the security officer's gun. The security guard was able to flag down a Houston police sergeant who was walking to the bus station. Both of them searched the area for the armed suspect.
Investigators say a witness told the HPD sergeant the armed suspect boarded a Metro bus at the downtown Metro Transit Center. The sergeant found Broussard on one of the buses.
According to Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, the sergeant who was in full uniform, pulled his gun on Broussard and directed him to put his hands in the air. The sergeant reported to HPD, Broussard did not put his hands in the air and tried to point the gun at him instead. That's when Broussard was shot multiple times. Chief Acevedo says the Houston Fire Department was on the scene within a couple minutes to render aid. The 30-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.
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The sergeant has been with HPD for 18 years and is on administrative leave.
“Your thoughts are always with the families of individuals that lose their lives,” said HPD Chief Art Acevedo in a press conference Tuesday. “Sadly, in this case, the man appears to have not complied. The suspect pulls a gun on an officer after he robs a uniformed security guard. [Then], pulls a gun, instead of complying.”
We’re told investigators are reviewing video footage captured by nearby surveillance cameras.
“We’re not trying to make this a police killed another black man [thing],” said Larry. “We’re not trying to make it that. We just want to know what took place.”
On Saturday afternoon, a small group of protesters gathered outside the Metro Transit Center.
“I want to know if they did everything possible to make sure Mr. Broussard made it home,” said Dav Lewis, an activist. “We’re calling for more transparency. We’re calling for more action. It’s just not happening. We have families out here that are suffering, that are demanding justice, that want to see the video.”
“They’re able to not do anything and not be put in any form of punishment,” said Justin Jones, another activist.”
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As is customary for HPD officer-involved shootings, the case is being investigated by the HPD Special Investigations Unit, the Internal Affairs Division, and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
“If what they say happened, we’re not saying it did, we’re not saying it didn’t, but if you have surveillance video of that, his parents want to see it,” said Larry. “They want to know what you’re saying is actually true.”