Man shot by police Monday identified as former Connally High student.

Before Monday's deadly confrontation  in this neighborhood on Natures Bend Rd, APD officer Geoffrey Freeman was sent to investigate a report of a man being attacked at an apartment complex a block away on Yager Lane.

"He did not locate the suspect from that incident while he was at the apartment complex, and when he cleared the call he stayed in the neighborhood, in an attempt to potentially locate the suspect,” said APD Chief of Staff Brian Manley.

The man who Officer Freeman was looking for, identified as 17 year old David Joseph, was later found lying naked in the middle of Natures Bend Rd. Investigators say dash cam video shows Joseph getting up and the he allegedly charged toward Freeman.

"When Officer Freeman gives his initially commands to Mr. Joseph and the time in which Mr. Joseph charge towards Officer Freeman was a matter of seconds, I couldn't tell you exactly how many but it was not a very long duration."

Joseph was unarmed - and the fatal shots were fired out of view of the dash camera.

"It certainly raises a lot of questions about why somebody who is naked posed a threat to the police,” said Jim Harrington with the Texas Civil Rights Project.

The organization, according to Harrington, plans to reach out to with officials with the Department of Justice about Officer Freeman's  decision to use deadly force.

"Austin Police have got to learn the tactic of de-escalation, we have to get away from this idea of confrontation,” said Harrignton.

In 2007, the Department of Justice looked into APD's Use of Force policy. After four years it was determined there was no criminal wrong doing. In 2013, the city requested another review but the DOJ declined.

In May, APD released a report on police shootings that took between 2000 and 2014. Of the 79 incidents reported; 28 involved African Americans, 25 individuals were white, 23 were Hispanic, and 2 were Asian.

"When someone is violently attacking you last thing on your mind, in all the things you are considering, if the color of their skin,” said former police association president, Wayne Vincent.

When a suspect has stripped off all his clothing, Vincent said, it’s an indication of substance abuse. A taser, in Vincent's opinion, typically doesn’t work against someone in a drug induced rage.

"I'd refer them back to a news report years ago in which an officer approached a naked individual trying to get into a daycare center. and that officer attempted to just physically restrain this person and she wound up getting beat severely."

There is dash cam video of that 2005 incident involving officer Jamie Haver. After she was knocked to the ground - the mentally disturbed man tried to get Haver's gun and only fled after more patrol units arrived. For Vincent it’s an example of how situations can quickly escalate.

"An officer only has a split second sometimes to decided, am I now going to be overwhelmed and killed by this individual and if I think that I am, I'm justified because I have a reason belief that my life is imminent danger,” said Vincent.

FOX 7 has confirmed that Davis Joseph was a former student at Connally High School.  A spokesperson at Pflugerville ISD told FOX7 that Joseph attended for 3 years but left school last spring.

An autopsy will determine if Joseph had drugs in his system. It may take several weeks, if not months, before investigators rule whether or not the use of deadly force was justified or if criminal charges will be justified.

*UPDATE* 

Thursday (2/11) afternoon Chief Art Acevedo offered a clarification regarding the sequence of events leading up to the shooting. Chief Acevedo said Joseph was not lying in the street when Officer Freeman first arrived but was standing without any clothing on in the middle of the street.
 

 

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