Police in a Houston suburb released body-camera footage Monday of an officer fatally shooting a Black man in the back, though key moments of the night-time encounter were missing or obscured.
The footage released by the La Marque Police Department does not include audio for the first 30 seconds, including the moment that Officer Jose Santos shot 22-year-old Joshua Feast.
It shows Feast running from Santos, who has his weapon extended and shows Feast lying on the ground, wounded, while Santos yells: “Show me your hands” three times.
The video does not show a muzzle flash from Santos’ gun, but an independent autopsy released last week by a lawyer for Feast’s family, Ben Crump, found that Feast died from a gunshot wound to the back.
“This footage portrays one thing: A defenseless man was shot in the back when he had not disobeyed a single lawful command and posed no threat to the officer,” Crump said in a statement on Monday.
Police said in a news release that officers’ body cameras buffer for the first 30 seconds after they are turned on, causing the missing audio.
The footage does not show Feast holding a gun, though Santos can be heard after the shooting saying over police radio that Feast had dropped one on the ground. Police said they found two guns at the scene, not including Santos’ service weapon.
“We know our community has questions,” police Chief Kirk Jackson said in the news release.
“We are releasing information as soon as we are able while maintaining the integrity of the investigation and complying with our legal obligations. We ask for continued patience as the investigation unfolds. Our condolences, thoughts and prayers remain with the family and friends of Joshua Feast.”
Jackson previously said that Feast was a person of interest in several recent shootings.