Police camera footage has been released during the shooting of 22-year-old black man Joshua Dawat, who was killed in Texas earlier this month.
The La Marque Police Department said the feast was attempted on December 9 by a police officer in La Marque, 40 miles southeast of Houston.
After several public information requests following the shooting, body camera video of the incident was released on Monday by the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office, the agency investigating the incident.
Officer Jose Santos was searching for the feast as part of an investigation into two recent drive-by shootings, according to police. Police said Santos received a feast that night during a patrol around 11:10 a.m. and saw the feast holding a gun.
Police-released body camera video shows Santos driving and exiting his car as someone leaves the passenger gate of another vehicle. Santos appears to open his driver’s side door and shoots at the feast as he runs away.
It is unclear whether Santos or Dawat talk to each other, as the video does not contain audio for the first 30 seconds and picks up after shooting the feast.
The La Marque Police Department said on Monday that the lack of audio is due to a producer facility where body cameras record video for only the first half-minute as a buffer. Camera producer Exxon did not immediately respond to a request from NBC News to confirm the department’s statement.
Based on the video footage, the party stumbles after an escape and an unknown object falls to the ground. Police said Monday that the object was a handgun recovered later by officers and turned over to the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office.
Santos follows the feast to the driveway of a nearby residence, where the feast falls to the ground. According to the video, the officer pleads for backup at the scene as well, asking someone to retrieve the shotgun fired at the chase.
The officer said, “Show me your hands.”
“Help me, help me, help me” replied the feast from the ground.
According to the video, Santos holds a feast at gunpoint while he was asking nearby residents, who arrived there to return.
Daawat died in the hospital after the shooting after being transferred from the scene by ambulance. Police said another handgun was found in the clothes of the feast, which was being treated in an ambulance.
An autopsy of Daawat’s body revealed that he had died from a single gunshot wound.
Lawyer Greg Cagle, representing Santos, said on Monday that although there was no audio in that part of the video, the officer called the gala by name and asked him to drop his weapon after seeing the feast with a gun. His lawyer said that Santos fired after pulling weapons at the feast.
“When you look at the video, frame by frame, that’s how the real world works,” Cagle said. “When officers see Santos Mr. Fest go for firearms in his waistband, that’s when he has to decide to fire.”
Sheriff Henry Trochess of Galveston County told CBS News last week that when he had not seen the video, he was told by investigators that it showed Fest had fired a gun at the officer.
Civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, representing Dawat’s family, called the death “insensitive” and alleged that the body camera video released Monday disputed the sheriff’s claims that Dawast pointed to a gun . Crump alleged that members of the Sheriff’s Office lie to protect Santos.
“Because it is clear that the Sheriff Department cannot be trusted to evaluate and relay evidence truthfully and fairly, we demand an independent investigation from the Texas Attorney General and the Department of Justice to oversee the investigation,” Crump said.
Croschett declined to comment on Crump’s charge on Monday and told NBC News that investigators are “collecting every piece of evidence that we have to hand over to the District Attorney’s Office.”
Crump also alleged that Santos had a “tendency to use excessive force against black people”, citing a 2013 case where Santos was named as a defendant.
Santos was named in a 2013 lawsuit when he was employed at the Galveston Police Department, alleging that he and one of his accomplices used excessive force on Reginald Devon Davis in March of that year.
Davis allegedly pulled her to sleep in her car after a friend’s birthday because she wanted to rest before driving home. According to a 2013 complaint, officers allegedly hit Davis, drowned his face in the water and hit him with a stun gun. It is not clear if Santos disputed or confirmed the allegations in the complaint.
Davis voluntarily dismissed the case in August 2014, nearly a year after filing, court records show. Santos resigned from the Galveston Police Department in December 2013, the city confirmed to NBC News on Monday, though it did not explain the reason for his resignation.
Police Department Chief Kirk Jackson said during a press conference on 10 December that St. Marcos was placed on administrative leave from the Le Marque Police Department, as per police policy.
On Monday, the chief said, “We are releasing information as soon as we are able to maintain the integrity of the investigation and comply with our legal obligations.” “We ask to be patient to continue the investigation. Our condolences, thoughts and prayers remain with the family and friends of Joshua Feast.”
Although in a statement released on Monday, La Marque City manager Tink Jackson said there have been protests demanding Santos’s termination, any “employment action” that could take place before the investigation is over.
“There is a way and process in which any personnel action should be taken, so they follow the law,” the city manager said. “it takes time. We ask for your continued patience. “