Texas Police Officer Shoots And Kills Naked, Unarmed Teen

| by Karin Sun
17-year-old David Joseph 17-year-old David Joseph

A black teenager was fatally shot by a police officer following a 911 call in Austin, Texas. He was reportedly unarmed and nude at the time of the shooting.

Austin Police Department (APD) deputy Geoffrey Freeman, who is also black, said he received a report of a man chasing another man around an apartment complex on East Yager Lane in North Austin around 9:57 a.m. on Feb. 8, KXAN reported.

After arriving at the scene, Freeman soon located the suspect, David Joseph, 17, who was reportedly behaving "aggressively" and appeared to be naked. Police said Freeman opened fire on the teen after Joseph allegedly ignored several commands to comply, and instead charged at the officer.

Video footage from Freeman's dashboard cam captured part of the incident, although the actual shooting occurred out of view of the camera. A review of the footage at the scene determined that a very short time elapsed between the officer's initial contact with Joseph and the shooting.  

Although the APD did not reveal how many shots were fired, neighbors told KXAN that they heard multiple gunshots.

Freeman has been put on administrative duty while an Internal Affairs investigation tries to determine whether he acted in compliance with the law, according to another KXAN article. The case will also be presented to a grand jury.

The Travis County Medical Examiner's Office is currently performing an autopsy on the teen, who attended Connally High School in Austin, to determine whether he had drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of the fatal encounter.

According to a statement by the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, no criminal charges have been filed against Freeman as of Feb. 9, KXAN reported.

The teen's family has released this statement following the incident:

Our family is devastated today by the loss of our beloved son and brother, David. We are shocked and saddened that he was taken from us in an unexpected and violent way, and are struggling to understand how our child was stolen from us by the police.

David was a high school senior, who dreamed of going to college this fall. He played football and soccer for his school, and loved to listen to music. He had a life full of possibilities in front of him.

We want a full and fair investigation into what led Officer Freeman to kill David. David had no weapon. We do not know what lead to his meeting with Officer Freeman, but we know that our David should not have been taken away from us. No family should have to suffer like we are today.

Austin police officers were reportedly involved in seven shootings of civilians in 2015, six of which were fatal. The last deadly encounter occurred in July 2015, in which 62-year-old David Lepine was shot and killed by an officer during a foot chase. 

Sources: KXAN (2) / Photo Credit: Facebook via KXAN, NY Daily News

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