People are fuming after a video clip revealed a police officer fatally shooting an unarmed black man — again. Deputies stopped driving after seeing an altercation between two men. One of them was 34-year-old Danny Ray Thomas. He had his pants down, and the police were attempting to chase him down. Deputy Cameron Brewer ordered him to get down, shouting "Get down, man! Get down on the ground!" before firing a single shot.
Thomas was pronounced dead that same day after being taken to the hospital.
He ignored the commands, and had been “walking in the middle of the intersection with his pants around his ankles, talking to himself and hitting vehicles as they passed by” before the shooting, but was, in fact, unarmed and perpetrated nothing of lethal force. Despite that, a statement released about the incident claimed that he fired in self-defense.
“Fearing for his safety, the deputy discharged his duty weapon, striking Thomas once in the chest.” the statement read. It continued, saying that because he ignored the commands he had to fire.
The Harris County Sheriff's Office released the dashcam video earlier this week.The video does not show the fatal shot, but what happened leading up to it. Brewer was supposed to be wearing a body camera as well, but it was charging in his car at the time.
Brewer was carrying a taser and had received proper training on how to use it in cases like this one, especially where there is evidence of mental illness. People close to Thomas said that both of his children died in 2016 and he suffered from depression.
Despite being trained and having a taser on hand, Brewer never used it – which people are calling into question.
Because rather than get help for him ,shooting him was the ONLY OTHER option available🤔😠😠😠— awaken (@thephilmcnamara) March 28, 2018
People are taking to Twitter to express their disgust, grief, and sympathies:
This is the latest shooting fueling the movement against systematic racism against people of color, #BlackLivesMatter.
Danny Ray Thomas is black & 34 yrs old. Danny was unarmed but had depression— ☇RiotWomenn☇ (@riotwomennn) March 28, 2018
He was seen walking with his pants down in the moments before he was shot dead by a Texas police officer last Thurs
Take a knee America & then?#BlackLivesMatter
https://t.co/7shloMkZfZ via @HuffPost
Rest in peace, Danny Ray Thomas.