HPD releases bodycam video of Braziel shooting, but it raises more questions than answers

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HOUSTON – Houston Police have finally released the bodycam footage from the deadly shooting of Alva Braziel on July 9th.

“Do you know him?” an officer yells at a bystander.

“Yeah, that’s my uncle, man!” he responds.

“What was wrong with him?” the officer asks.

“I don’t know, man.”

However, the officers’ bodycams were not activated until after the suspect was shot.

“Did you click on your camera right away?” a senior officer asks when arriving on the scene.

“Naw, man, I jumped…” the officer responds.

The HPD policy requiring an officer to activate a bodycam states that there are exceptions, such as “circumstances where it is immediately necessary for the officer to act in order to ensure his safety…”

In this case, HPD says the officers felt there was an immediate threat to themselves and the public.

“This is it,” one of the officers on the scene explains to others. “He [Braziel] was standing in the middle of the road pointing a gun at the car.”

The responding officer also reminds an eyewitness what led to the fatal shooting. “You’re a witness….we gave him instructions to drop it, man.”

Mayor Sylvester Turner released the footage on Thursday to establish an important point “that Mr. Braziel did have a gun.”

But Braziel’s wife– Nikki– still has lots of questions. “Why?” she asked. “Why? I’m still asking why?”

“Whether or not he had a weapon the question remains, ‘Was there excessive force?'” Black Lives Matter Houston activist Ashton P. Woods questioned.

“What was the purpose of you shooting him….with his hands in the air…and the gun straight up in the air?” Braziel’s wife asked. “You don’t see no gun pointing at them.”

Some also wonder why the officer’s dashcam video has not been released, which might help answer some of those questions.

“The family wants no violence,” Braziel family spokesman Daniel Graves declared. “We do not want any attacks on police officers. What we want is, we want justice, and we want clarity on what is going on here.”

Still, a lot of questions, far from answered.

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