Shocking body cam footage shows an unarmed Black man being shot and killed by police after allegedly shoplifting detergent, worth just one dollar, from a Houston Dollar General.
The family of Roderick Brooks, 47, was fatally shot by Sgt. Garrett Hardin of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office on July 8 demanded transparency in the case. The body cam footage was released last week at the family’s request, according to KHOU 11.
Family Requested Body Cam Footage To Be Released, Demands Transparency
“The world needs to see what they are doing. In this case, they are not showing everything,” Demetria Brooks-Glaze, Brooks’ sister, said, calling the shooting a “racist act.” “What gives you the right to take someone’s life by shooting them in the back of the head and neck?”
In the video, Hardin can be seen pinning Brooks down by his back, face first into the ground. After attempting to tase him, Hardin lost control of the taser, which ended up in Brooks’ hand as the two struggled.
Several seconds later, Hardin pulls his gun out and threatens to shoot Brooks, who can be heard asking why the officer tased him.
— Justin A. Moore, ESQ. (@_ja_moore) July 22, 2022
He was shot just moments after, near where his head and neck met, HuffPost reports citing Sadiyah Evangelista Karriem, an attorney for Brooks’ family.
Brooks’ family is claiming police brutality and misuse of force, and on Tuesday called for the U.S. Department of Justice and the Texas Rangers to investigate the deadly shooting.
Fatal Shooting Followed 911 Calls For Shoplifting
Brook’s sister added that witnesses told family that Hardin had also hit Brooks several times, which was not shown on the officer’s body camera footage, which was released by the department.
According to law enforcement, surveillance video from the dollar store, which has not yet been released publicly, shows Brooks leaving the store without paying, before a female employee confronts him.
The department says they received a 911 call around 6 p.m. that evening from a woman saying “Black man in a blue shirt, gray shorts and baseball cap had taken items from the store without paying and hit her,” per HuffPost.
“A customer is running out of the store and he hit me on the way out,” the woman said during the 911 call, a recording of which has been released by the police. “He pushed my arm out of the way. I just want him to get arrested because he is literally running to the back of the building right now,” she told the dispatcher.
— AbdulHaleem Muhammad (@dotsconnector) July 27, 2022
The woman, who refused medical attention, told dispatch that she didn’t believe Brooks was armed nor did she believe he was under the influence.
Cops Would Not Face Any Threats On Scene, 911 Caller Told Dispatch
The dispatcher asked her if the deputies would face any danger upon arriving on the scene, and the woman said no.
In another 911 call regarding the alleged shoplifting, one man said had seen someone leave the store with detergent and alleging the man had “pushed a lady down” on his way out.
One man called 911 twice, saying had seen a man leave the store with detergent and claiming the man had “pushed a lady down” as he was leaving.
Brooks’ family is currently in the process of filing a lawsuit against the Harris County SHeriff’s Office as well as Hardin, HuffPost reports.
“This is what we see when we continuously have a lack of honest policing in this country. It is a failure from top to bottom,” Justin Moore, another attorney representing Brooks’ family, told HuffPost. “Roderick should be alive today if it wasn’t for the rogue officer to be out here in these streets. What we saw on raw footage shows the officer was fully out of control and failed to follow policy,” Moore added.
On the eve of the funeral for Roderick Brooks, his family and friends came to pay their respects. Family was shown body cam footage today and @KHOU has learned @HCSOTexas will release it to the public tomorrow #KHOU11 pic.twitter.com/MW0K7nF70P
— Grace White (@GraceWhiteKHOU) July 22, 2022
Moore said that the officer was never in danger, even after losing possession of his taser, which Moore called a “red herring.”
“The Taser issue is a red herring, and if you see the video, he grabs the Taser but he releases it multiple times,” Moore said. “He never grabs it and points it at the officer. He tried to get it to stop electrocuting him.”
As of Thursday, the officer is on paid administrative leave as the department continues to investigate the shooting. A town hall meeting on the incident is scheduled for Thursday evening.