HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS — For the second time, a grand jury has refused to indict a pair of officers with the Houston Police Department on any charges relating to the shooting death of Alva Braziel nearly one year ago.
Braziel died in the early morning hours of July 9, 2016. According to the officers, Braziel was in the middle of the street on Cullen Boulevard near Ward Street with a gun. The officers say when they told him to put the gun down, he pointed it at them, forcing them to open fire.
HPD later released surveillance video of the shooting from a nearby gas station, but it didn't clearly confirm or dispute the officer's account of what happened. There was no body camera footage of the shooting because officers had not yet activated them. The only body camera footage released by police shows the aftermath of the shooting.
Braziel's death sparked a series of protests from the community, with some believing that he was not armed when he was shot.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg says the case, like all police shootings, was presented to a grand jury to address those concerns.
"This enables the community, not prosecutors or police, to ultimately determine whether a person should be indicted,” said Ogg. “It is our duty to be transparent and ensure that grand jurors have the opportunity to make informed decisions on whether a crime has been committed. These decisions can impact people’s lives forever.”
This was the second grand jury to hear the case. The first time around Braziel's family says they weren't aware that it was happening and asked for a second grand jury to allow for additional information, including the possibility of new evidence, to be considered.