Police Officer who shot unarmed teen, fired by APD


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Austin Police Officer Geoffrey Freeman, who shot and killed 17-year-old David Joseph in February has been fired from the Austin Police Department.

The Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas released a statement following the announcement that Officer Geoffrey Freeman was fired.

Read the CLEAT statement below...

The Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas has put Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo on notice that it will appeal the unjust and politically motivated firing of veteran Police Officer Geoffrey Freeman.


“Rather than taking the time needed to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the tragic events of Feb. 8, 2016, Chief Acevedo instead chose to send signals to the news media, political activists, rank-and-file police officers and even a cadet class that he intended to fire Officer Freeman no matter what the facts in the case might show,” said CLEAT President Todd Harrison, an Austin police sergeant.

“CLEAT will use the resources necessary to ensure that Officer Freeman’s good name is restored and that he will be back to work  serving the community he’s called home all of his life,” said Charley Wilkison, Executive Director of CLEAT.

With a membership roll of more than 21,000 active peace officers in Texas, CLEAT is the largest law enforcement labor union in the state.

Austin Police Association released a statement as well.

"The Austin Police Association is aware that Chief Acevedo indefinitely suspended Officer Freeman today.  The event is still being investigasted to determine a complete picture of what happened, and we believe Officer Freeman will be exonerated after the Grand Jury process."

On February 8th, Freeman responded to a call of a man acting erratically and aggressively in a Northeast Austin neighborhood. Officers say Freeman encountered David Joseph who was naked and unarmed. Officers say the teen ignored Freeman's commands, charged him and Freeman fired.

According to Joseph's autopsy report, he was running with his left arm across his chest. He was struck by two bullets fired at a distance of greater than 2-3 feet--once in the heart, that bullet grazed his hand and once in the leg.

The toxicology report revealed that marijuana, Promethazine (which is a histamine), and Alprazolam (which the family attorney says was Xanax) were found in Joseph's system.

Last week Freeman waived his right to be present at today's disciplinary meeting.


We are expected to learn the fate of the APD officer who fatally shot a naked teen any moment now.

The disciplinary review is underway involving officer Geoffrey Freeman whose actions took the life of 17-year-old David Joseph.

At 2 p.m. Monday afternoon Police Chief Acevedo met with Officer Freeman's Chain of Command, Police Monitor Margot Frasier, and internal affairs investigators.

Just as that discussion began, we learned the results of the teen's autopsy.

Freeman's attorney sent a letter to Acevedo saying the Chief's statements and conduct indicate he passed judgement without regard to training, policy or the integrity of the investigation. The attorney further stated people involved in the investigation have leaked confidential information to the media and activists.

“Instead of rank speculation, now we have facts,” said the family’s attorney, Jeff Edwards. “The toxicology report shows David was not on PCP, and was not a danger to anyone. The report highlights why it was so unfair to the family, and to this naked, unarmed kid, to speculate before the facts came in. The facts are David was a kid like many kids in Austin. The toxicology results only showed an antihistamine, marijuana, and Xanax.”

“The autopsy also clearly shows there was some distance between Officer Freeman and David when the shots were fired, because there was no gunshot residue found on David’s body. The evidence from the medical examiner shows there was no up-close struggle where Officer Freeman had to pull his gun,” said Edwards.
Prior to the public release of the autopsy and toxicology report, District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg and her senior staff personally briefed the family for over an hour. “We appreciate the time and respect the DA’s office showed the family today,” said Edwards.

“My brother needed help,” said Fally Joseph, David’s brother. “The police need to help someone in that situation, not shoot them. My entire family is devastated and will do anything we can to make sure no other families have to suffer like we are.”

All parties involved are waiting for the Chief's decision. He is expected to comment by the end of the day.

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