Video of Deadly Police-Involved Shooting in Houston Released

A 38-year-old was fatally shot by Houston police officers July 9.

ByEmily Shapiro
July 21, 2016, 4:49 PM

— -- Video was released today of a deadly police-involved shooting of a black man in Houston.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said he wanted to release the videos to show that the man was armed and to "debunk" social media reports that he was unarmed.

"The videos speak for themselves," Turner said. "The facts are what they are."

Houston police said Alva Braziel, 38, was armed when he was fatally shot by Houston police officers on July 9.

"This was not a case of an unarmed person that was shot down by the police," Turner said today.

Braziel's family has seen some of the videos, Turner said at a news conference this afternoon.

The deadly encounter began when two officers saw Braziel standing in an intersection in moving lanes of traffic, police said. The officers saw Braziel wave his hands in the air and then point a gun "directly at the officers," police said.

The officers took cover behind the open doors of their patrol car and told Braziel to put the gun on the ground, police said.

"Braziel ignored repeated commands and instead raised his arms up, pointed the pistol upward and moved into different aggressive stances, as if getting ready for a fight," the Houston Police Department said in a statement on July 11. "Braziel then lowered his weapon and again pointed it directly" at the officers, police said.

The officers discharged their duty weapons, "fearing for their lives," police said.

Braziel died at the scene, police said.

The officers were identified by police as L. Lopez and E. Macias. The case is being investigated by the HPD Homicide and Internal Affairs Divisions and the Harris County District Attorney's Office, ABC's Houston station KTRK reported.

The officers involved in the shooting are on administrative leave, Joe Gamaldi of the Houston Police Officers Union told ABC News.

"The release of this video shows what we were saying all along," Gamaldi said, noting that the suspect’s finger was on the trigger when police removed gun from his hand.

The video "refutes the false narrative going around that he did not have a gun," Gamaldi said, noting that is also refutes the narrative that "officers stood over him” and shot several more times after he was down.

Turner said he contacted Braziel's family to let them know that video would be released Wednesday -- to give them an opportunity to see it first -- but the family never did, KTRK said. The mayor said the family hired an attorney, who then contacted the city on Wednesday, "saying it would be insensitive to release the video before the family saw it," KTRK reported. The mayor then said the video would be released Thursday, KTRK said.

Police body camera footage released today doesn’t show Braziel's shooting but does capture the aftermath. The video of the shooting itself released today appears to be from a surveillance camera showing a gas station in the foreground. Houston police said that "the two officers viewed the threat to themselves and the public as immediate, stopped their patrol vehicle and exited the vehicle even before it was in park. Once the threat was contained, officers activated their cameras."

The police said there's a provision in the body camera general order that says in some safety circumstances it would be impractical or unreasonable to activate the body camera before taking police action, and that the officer should instead activate the camera as soon as it's safe.

The department "will continue to stress in training the importance of activating the BWC," the police said today, referring to body-worn cameras. "As to whether policies were adhered to in this case, that will be part of the investigation, which is still active."

ABC News' Gina Sunseri contributed to this report.

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