A Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputy has killed an unarmed Black man in Houston over alleged shoplifting at a Dollar General discount store.
Released bodycam footage shows Sgt. Garrett Hardin chasing Roderick Brooks, pinning him down and hitting him with a stun gun before shooting him in the back on July 8.
The shot was fatal. Brooks, 47, had allegedly shoplifted detergent from the dollar store.
Police said Brooks “was able to gain control of the taser from the sergeant” after which Hardin discharged his firearm once, striking and killing the suspect, Fox 5 reported.
Sadiyah Evangelista Karriem, an attorney for Brooks’ family, told HuffPost that the deputy shot the 47-year-old near where his head and neck met.
Brooks’ family charged police are guilty of misuse of force, and called for the Texas Rangers and U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the shooting.
Fatal police shootings in the U.S. are on the rise, with a total 528 civilians having been shot, 35 of whom were Black, as of June 2022. In 2021, there were 1,055 fatal police shootings, and in 2020 there were 1,020 fatal shootings, according to Statista. The rate of fatal police shootings of Black Americans was much higher than that for any other ethnicity with 40 fatal shootings per million of the population as of June 2022.
“The world needs to see what they are doing. In this case, they are not showing everything,” Demetria Brooks-Glaze, Brooks’ sister told the HuffPost, calling the shooting a “racist act.”
“What gives you the right to take someone’s life by shooting them in the back of the head and neck?” Brooks-Glaze added.
According to law enforcement, Dollar Tree security video shows Brooks arriving at the store and then leaving without paying for items he took from the shelves. A female employee confronted him as he was leaving, according to police.
Soon after police said they received a call from a woman who said a “Black man in a blue shirt, gray shorts and baseball cap” had taken items from the store without paying and hit her.
“A customer is running out of the store, and he hit me on the way out,” the woman said during the 911 call, a recording of which has been released to the public by the police. “He pushed my arm out of the way.
“I just want him to get arrested because he is running to the back of the building right now,” she told the dispatcher.
Still, Brooks-Glaze said the police over reacted and it cost her brother his life.
“Shoplifting does not warrant killing a man while he’s on his stomach. My brother is going to get justice, and he knows I won’t stop,” Brooks-Glaze told Fox 5.