HOUSTON - On this day a year ago, Nicolas Chavez was shot more than 20 times and killed by Houston Police officers as they responded to a mental health crisis call. On Wednesday, the Chavez family commemorated his life near the scene of his death.
"He was a loving child. He was a loving man. He was my boy," said Leantha Chavez, Nicolas Chavez's mother.
Leantha Chavez’s emotions remain raw thinking about the tragic way her son, Nicolas Chavez, was killed one year ago by Houston Police.
"It hurts. I hear that video in my sleep. I can play it in my sleep. And it’s just not something a mother should ever have to go through; a family should have to go through," Chavez said.
Body cam video released in September captured the final moments of the deadly confrontation in Denver Harbor, when 28 HPD Officers responded to a "man in distress" call.
The footage shows officers trying for roughly 15 minutes to calm Nicolas down, deploying tasers and rubber bullets, which brought him to the ground.
But moments later, Nicolas lunges for an empty taser and officers shot him more than 20 times.
"29 times. On his knees, having a mental health crisis. And that's the thing that the world needs to know -- that he was in distress. He needed help. He didn’t need his life to be ended that day," said activist Dav Lewis.
Near the scene of Nicolas’s death, now lays dozens of flowers to commemorate the 27-year-old’s life.
A year later, the case remains stagnant. His family says they're more frustrated than ever as they wait for justice.
"Considering that George Floyd died, that incident happened after Nicolas died. We haven’t even gone to the grand jury yet for indictment. What's the hold up?" Chavez said.
In a statement, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office said, "District Attorney Kim Ogg has met with the parents and widow of Nicolas Chavez and assured them that our Civil Rights Division prosecutors are conducting a thorough, independent review of his death. Their work continues. All evidence will be presented to a grand jury, so that our community can determine whether criminal charges are proper. This is the same division that reviews all allegations of excessive force, in-custody deaths, and officer-involved shootings, such as the ongoing probe of Harding Street. The ongoing pandemic has greatly slowed down trials and grand jury proceedings."
Four Houston police officers were fired as a result of the investigation.
The Chavez family also filed a $100 million civil lawsuit in March.