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Family of man shot, killed by HCSO sergeant calling on Texas Rangers, DOJ to investigate incident

Robert Brooks' family says they don’t trust the investigation by the sheriff’s office. They've been calling for transparency since the shooting happened.

HOUSTON — The family of a man shot and killed by a Harris County Sheriff’s Office sergeant is calling on the Texas Rangers and the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the incident.

The lawyer for Roderick Brooks’ family on Tuesday said a lawsuit is also in the works.

The family says they don’t trust the investigation by the sheriff’s office and has been calling for transparency since the shooting happened.

They said the body camera video the sheriff's office publicly released on Friday doesn't match what they were shown privately a day earlier. The family claims the publicly released version is zoomed in and doesn't show the sergeant punching brooks, nor the periphery during the shooting.

RELATED: HCSO releases body camera video in which sergeant shoots, kills man accused of shoplifting

"Ray Charles could see that it had been edited," said community activist Deric Muhammad.

On July 8, an HCSO sergeant responded to a call about a man shoplifting and assaulting an employee at a store on FM 1960. The body camera video shows the sergeant running after Brooks. He eventually catches up and the video shows him firing his stun gun, which hits Brooks.

The sergeant then appears to tackle Brooks to the ground.

Officials with the sheriff's office say the sergeant dropped his Taser and Brooks grabbed it.

The victim's family argues there was never a threat of serious bodily injury to the sergeant.

“The Taser was never pointed in his direction," said Sadiyah Evangelista Karriem, an attorney for the family. "The taser had already been deployed. There was no finger on the trigger for Roderick Brooks and, in fact, Roderick Brooks was scooting it under his body.”

On Tuesday, the family, their lawyer, and community activists called on the sergeant to be fired.

They’re also calling on Sheriff Ed Gonzalez to release the unedited video.

“Whoever touched it, edited it, should be accountable for it because it’s no different than you robbing a bank. You’re involved,” said Brooks' sister, Demetria Brooks-Glaze.

RELATED: ‘We seen him get executed’ | Family of man killed by HCSO sergeant still calling for transparency after seeing body cam video

KHOU 11 asked the sheriff’s office for a response to the family’s claims.

A spokesperson referred to HCSO's statement from Friday, saying, “It does not represent a formalized verdict or opinion as this investigation is ongoing and active.”

The sheriff's office's full statement from Friday can be read below:

"The Harris County Sheriff’s Office on [July 22] released relevant video footage related to a July 8, 2022 deputy-involved shooting that resulted in the death of Roderick Vankeith Brooks, 47.

"Sheriff’s Office officials played the video for Brooks’ family in a private meeting before releasing the footage publicly.

"On July 8, 2022, at 6:04 p.m., the Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from an employee of a retail store in the 2000 block of FM 1960 West, reporting that a man had stolen items from the business and hit her before fleeing on foot.

"The employee described the suspect, and the 911 call taker alerted patrol deputies to be on the lookout for him.

"At 6:19 p.m., a Sheriff’s Office patrol sergeant notified dispatch that he had spotted a man matching the description and that he was attempting to detain him.

"The video footage shows the sergeant approached Brooks on foot and ordered him to stop. Brooks fled, and the sergeant attempted to detain him using his Taser, the video shows.

"The sergeant and Brooks then engaged in a physical struggle, wrestling on the ground, the video shows. At one point, the sergeant lost possession of his Taser and Brooks grabbed it. The sergeant can then be heard stating “I’m going to shoot you. Put that down,” moments before the sergeant fired a single gunshot from his pistol.

"After firing the shot, the video shows the sergeant called for help, including an ambulance. Brooks was pronounced dead on the scene.

"The incident remains under investigation by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Division, Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs, and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. An autopsy is being performed by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

"The sergeant has been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigations."

The family’s lawyer said the video also does not show officers arresting a bystander recording video of the deputy'’ actions.

There will be a public town hall meeting Thursday evening at 7 p.m. at Shape Community Center.

We’re told HCSO, the District Attorney’s Office, and Mayor’s office will be invited.

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