Society

Texas Cop Kills Black Man During Traffic Stop (Video)

| by Michael Allen
Deputy R. FelixDeputy R. Felix

A police dash cam video (below) released Aug. 31 shows Harris County Deputy R. Felix fatally shooting Ashtian Barnes, an African-American male, during a traffic stop on in Houston April 28.

A Harris County grand jury decided not to indict Felix, which spurred a protest by Black Lives Matter demonstrators, who posted the dash cam video on Facebook, notes the Houston Chronicle.

In the video, Felix stops Barnes on a highway because the rental car that Barnes is driving features toll violations.

Felix goes on to ask Barnes for his driver's license, and if there is anything in the car that he ought to know about.

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Felix tells Barnes not to dig around in the car, asks the driver about marijuana, and tells Barnes not to dig around again.

Felix orders Barnes to open the trunk, which Barnes does.

Felix has his hand on his gun when he opens the driver-side door.

The car's rear lights go on, Felix pulls his gun, steps onto the door jam while the car is rolling, and yells, "Don't f------ move!"

The car begins moving down the highway, Felix fires shots at Barnes, and the vehicle comes to a stop.

At the Black Lives Matter protest Aug. 31, Barnes' father, Tommie, said the rental car company was to blame for the toll violations, and added: "It's heartbreaking. I just celebrated his 25th birthday without him. He should be here today."

The Houston Chronicle noted in April that police said Felix smelled marijuana, and Barnes was not able to produce his driver's license or proof of insurance.

Houston Police Department spokesman Kese Smith said at the time that Barnes repeatedly rummaged through papers in the car (possibly for the license and insurance that Felix demanded).

According to Smith, Felix opened the front door and instructed Barnes to step outside, but Barnes started the car even though Felix told him not to.

Police officials said Barnes began to accelerate; Felix held on to the door for fear that he might get run over; Felix reached for Barnes' gun; Barnes felt Felix's hand on his gun; Felix then shot at Barnes twice.

Felix is not seen reaching for Barnes' gun on the video.

Smith said that police searched Barnes' car and found some cash, an "old-style barber razor," and a bandana, but it was unclear if any marijuana was found.

"I want to express my deepest sympathies to Ashtian Barnes' family," Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said in a press release about the grand jury's no-bill ruling this week.

"I know they are disappointed, but the grand jury's decision means they found that there was no probable cause to believe a murder or other assaultive offense was committed," Anderson added. "It does not constitute an endorsement of the officer's actions."

Ashton P. Woods, a Black Lives Matter protester, called the police shooting "hyper aggression," and added: "It's clear the officer didn't have probable cause."

"When was the last time a grand jury in Houston, Harris County, true-billed a law enforcement officer for shooting a black person?" Woods added.

(Note: Shooting happens at 2:30 mark in video)

Sources: Houston Chronicle (2) / Photo credit: Harris County Sheriff's Office via YouTube

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