HOUSTON — The family of a man shot and killed by a Harris County sheriff’s sergeant is still calling for transparency.
Thursday afternoon, the family of Roderick Brooks says HCSO showed them edited body camera footage of the incident. KHOU 11 has learned the video will be released to the public on Friday.
“We want the world to know Roderick was executed, we seen him get executed," said Demetria Brooks-Glaze, his sister.
On the eve of his funeral, friends of Brooks came to pay their respects. His family arrived at the funeral home in south Houston just hours after seeing the body camera footage for the first time.
“Roderick Brooks is a well-documented mental health patient and I think that makes all the difference in the world, but the officer didn’t even take the time to assess the situation," said Deric Muhammed, a community activist.
Cell phone video given to KHOU 11 by the Brooks' family attorney showed only the aftermath, Brooks on the ground and the sergeant standing over him.
However, investigators with HCSO say Brooks didn’t give the sergeant a chance. On Friday, July 8, a call came in reporting an assault at a Dollar Tree store on FM 1960. The caller told dispatchers a man had assaulted a store employee, who was trying to stop him from shoplifting.
According to HCSO, the sergeant arrived, chased Brooks on foot, and deployed his taser. The taser, the sheriff’s office claims, was not effective and the sergeant and Brooks began fighting. HCSO's stance is that Brooks grabbed the taser and the sergeant then shot him and Brooks died at the scene.
Brooks' supporters say when they watched the body camera footage, they saw it differently.
“We saw Roderick grab the taser and he was moving it away from his body, as to get it out of the way and then we saw the officer push his head down and take his weapon and fire him and killed him instantly," said Sadiyah A. Evangelista, one of the attorneys assisting the Brooks family.
Initially, the family says they were only shown edited clips, but when they asked, they were shown portions of the raw video.
“Also in the unedited footage, you can hear the officer say after the shooting occurred 'Roderick was able to take control of my taser,' in the unedited footage you see him place the taser in front of Roderick and he relinquishes control of it – while he is getting his service weapon to shoot," said Justin Moore, another attorney for the family.
In a tweet, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez identified the sergeant involved as G. Hardin, saying the department is committed to a thorough, transparent, and timely investigation.
“This officer has a history of using unreasonable deadly force," said Moore.
KHOU 11 investigated that claim and can confirm the sergeant was investigated in 2011 for another shooting but was cleared by a grand jury. Sources also tell us the same sergeant is under investigation for using his taser on a man who eventually jumped off I-45. The man fell forty feet but survived. That was seven days before Brooks was killed.
His sister is now planning a funeral and says she doesn't understand how it all came to this.
“He was a shoplifter. A shoplifter. He was not a bank robber," said Brooks-Glaze.
Services will be held for Brooks at 10 a.m. on Friday at McCoy & Harrison Funeral Home.