Austin police gun down naked black teen for ‘disobeying’ — and then refuse to say if he was armed
Police in Austin, Texas have declined to say whether a naked black teen who was fatally shot by officers on Monday had been armed at the time.
The Austin Police Department confirmed on Monday that an 18-year-old man who was not wearing clothes was shot by officers, and then later died in a local hospital, the Austin Statesman reported.
Austin police Chief of Staff Brian Manley told reporters at a press conference that the incident occurred when officers were responding to reports of a suspicious black man. Manley said that an officer opened fire after the man disobeyed commands and then charged at him.
According to the department, the shooting occurred out of the view of the police cruiser’s dashboard camera. There was no evidence that officers deployed Tasers before shooting the suspect, the department confirmed.
Manley refused to say whether the suspect was carrying a weapon when he was shot. The department also has not named the suspect or the officers involved in the shooting. However, he said that the officer who pulled the trigger had been placed on administrative leave, which is department protocol after officer involved shootings.
Austin’s NAACP President Nelson Linder told KDFW on Monday that the shooting may not have been legal.
“We see a rush to judgment and as a result, somebody is dead. Normally it’s always somebody black, in this city and this country,” Linder explained. “I don’t see how a young man who’s naked, and not hurting anybody, winds up being dead. When in reality, those things require constraint and understanding, as opposed to deadly force.”
“The question is, how do you address your policy now?” Linder added. “The problem with these shootings is often times APD, they don’t appear to enforce their own policies. If that’s the case we have a major problem because if you have a policy and don’t follow it, then what good is it?”
Watch the video report below from KDFW, broadcast Feb. 9, 2016.