Austin Police Fires Officer Who Shot Naked, Unarmed Black Teen
This past February, an Austin police officer broke several protocols and confronted 17-year-old David Joseph after multiple residents filed complaints of suspicious activity. Officer Geoffrey Freeman was the first to arrive and chose to confront the teen without waiting for backup. Shortly thereafter, the naked and unarmed teen was shot dead.
The Austin Police Department has officially fired Freeman as a result of the incident, according to New York Daily News.
“Officer Freeman’s decision to draw his weapon when he exited his vehicle was unwarranted,” Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo wrote in a memo.
“No one was under a threat of imminent harm or suffering serious bodily injury or death by Mr. David,” Acevedo continued.
According to Acevedo, Freeman went against Civil Service Commission rules by not waiting for backup before confronting “subjects displaying symptoms of substance-induced excited delirium.” He also immediately drew his weapon instead of choosing to use his baton, stun gun, pepper spray, bean bag shot gun or physical force as a means to apprehend Joseph.
According to the Daily News, an autopsy reports there was no gunpowder found on Joseph’s body, which means he was a considerable distance from Freeman when the shot was fired.
Freeman is allowed to appeal the APD’s decision and fight to get his job back, which, according to KXAN, is exactly what he’s done.
“His performance that day was well within his training and the law,” said CLEAT general counsel Michael Rickman. “I think [APD] rushed to judgement. They rushed the investigation.”
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