Police Said They Shot A Man Because He Pointed A Gun At Them. Video Shows He Had His Hands Up.

CREDIT: FACEBOOK, ALVA BRAZIEL
CREDIT: FACEBOOK, ALVA BRAZIEL

Another black man was shot and killed by police in Texas early Saturday morning.

Houston Police said Alva Braziel was waving a gun around and pointed it at them when they opened fire. But surveillance footage from a nearby gas station suggests otherwise.

The video, which began circulating Saturday night on Twitter, shows Braziel walk out toward an intersection. When the squad car arrives, he appears to put his hands in the air and turn around, standing still for a few seconds before police shoot him.

#AlvaBrazielAppears to have his hands up right before being shot 10 times by the Houston Police late Friday night.https://t.co/rzi6azCAPv

— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) July 10, 2016

Both officers involved reportedly had body cameras on them, but the footage has not yet been released.

Fury over Braziel’s death has erupted in the wake of two other citizen-recorded videos capturing police shooting black men in Minnesota and Louisiana. The deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile have triggered nationwide protests this week. In the midst of the outcry over those killings, a dozen officers in Dallas were attacked by a sniper while protecting one such protest. Five officers were killed.

It’s not yet clear whether or not Braziel had a gun or if he threatened police. Police protocol in most U.S. cities encourages officers to use lethal force if they feel someone is threatening them, but there are often many other tools and opportunities to de-escalate a situation.

For example, in a majority-white neighborhood of Houston this weekend, an armed suspect fired seven rounds at police officers. Yet police managed to end the standoff with gas and other non-lethal means without killing the man. He may now be transported to a psychiatric center for evaluation and treatment.