Man shot and killed by 3 Austin police officers; attorneys call for justice
AUSTIN, Texas - The attorneys for Anthony Marquis Franklin are calling for justice.
"Mr. Franklin did not deserve to die," said Bakari Sellers, attorney with Strong Law Firm.
It is as simple as that for the attorneys of Franklin's family who are fighting for justice after Franklin was shot and killed by three Austin Police officers.
"We believe it was murder," said Nathaniel Mack, attorney with Mack Law Firm.
Shortly before midnight on January 15th, police were looking for a man with a gun after receiving multiple 911 calls saying someone was shooting near Lavaca and Fifth Street. Police say three officers who were searching on an APD utility vehicle saw 30-year-old Franklin who they claim matched the shooter's description.
In the footage, an unidentified man jumps over a ledge followed by Franklin holding a gun. Franklin, father of three daughters, was shot and killed that night.
"You don't shoot a man in the back, especially when he's down on the ground. That's exactly what happened," said Harry Daniels, attorney with Harry Daniels Law Firm.
The attorneys of Franklin's family are calling his death unjustified.
"His gun didn't go off. He didn't pull the gun. He wasn't a threat to the officers. He clearly jumped over a rail, fell to the ground, and was shot and killed, and he was shot multiple times," said Daniels.
Police say they gave Franklin several commands to drop his weapon. APD claims Franklin did not comply and ran from police. Franklin's attorneys wonder where the evidence is proving Franklin was ever the shooter.
"We haven't seen any evidence that he was that shooter. There's nothing in the record. The simple fact is you have three daughters who no longer have a father and respectfully, guns are quite prevalent in the Texas community and having a gun on your person is not a death sentence crime," said Sellers.
The family wants justice and that comes in the form of a fair trial for the officers. Something the attorneys believe should have been given to Franklin.
"We believe these officers committed a crime. Arrest them, book them, charge them, give them the same fair treatment under the law that [Franklin] should have got," said Sellers.
The attorneys will be filing a lawsuit within the next few weeks.
What happened on January 15 when Anthony Franklin was shot and killed
On Jan. 27, APD released six materials, including all three of the body camera footage from each of the officers involved.
The following videos were released:
- Two 9-1-1 audio files
- Police radio Traffic
- Body-worn camera - Officer Kelby Radford
- Body-worn camera - Officer Ryan Rawlins
- Body-worn camera - Officer Jacob Bowman
- Office building video
To view that material, click here.
APD provided time stamps of the events that happened leading up to the officer-involved shooting:
At 11:34 p.m., a 9-1-1 call was received with multiple people on the phone line. A woman on the call said a person was shooting in the area of Lavaca Street and 5th Street. A man on the same 9-1-1 call said someone was shot.
At 11:36 p.m., another 9-1-1 caller described a chaotic scene with people running in the 300 block of W. 6th Street. Officers responded to the area as the information was provided by Austin 9-1-1 communications.
At 11:35 p.m., the first officers arrived on the scene and began searching for the man with a gun. The 9-1-1 operators got information from the 9-1-1 callers and provided officers with a suspect description over the police radio. Officers continued searching the area as they gathered information about the suspect's description and last known direction of travel. The suspect was described as a Black man, thin build, 6'1" to 6'2", with "afro style hair," and wearing all dark clothing.
At around 11:38 p.m., a male shooting victim was located, and he began speaking with officers. The victim had a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. Officers provided medical aid to the victim as Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services (ATCEMS) was called to the scene. The male victim was transported to a local hospital by ATCEMS, where he was treated and discharged.
Officers continued searching the area for the suspect involved in the shooting.
At around 11:43 p.m., three APD officers riding in an APD utility vehicle in the area saw a male, later identified as 30-year-old Anthony Marquis Franklin, who matched the description of the shooter.
As the officers began to approach and call out to Franklin, they saw him with a gun. The officers yelled out "gun" to one another. The officers then gave Franklin several commands to drop the gun.
Franklin did not comply with the officers' orders and began to run westbound on W. 6th Street and then northbound on Colorado Street. One of the officers jumped out of the utility vehicle and began to run after Franklin on foot. The other two officers continued to follow in the utility vehicle. The officers verbally commanded Franklin to drop the gun and show his hands, however, Franklin again did not comply with the officers' commands.
As the pursuit of Franklin approached 601 Colorado Street, he ran onto the porch of a building. An unknown male was also on the porch and, at this point in the investigation, is not believed to be involved in this incident. The unknown male quickly jumped off the porch with his hands up and ran away from the scene.
The officers continued to order Franklin to show his hands. Franklin also jumped off the porch and fell to the ground. Within seconds, all three officers fired their department-issued firearms, striking him.
Franklin threw the gun toward a vehicle parked on the street near him. The gun landed directly in front of Franklin. The officers told Franklin, "do not move," and he complied with those commands. Once officers gained compliance from Franklin, the officers approached him even though the gun was still close to him.
The officers secured Franklin and searched him for additional weapons. The officers immediately began life-saving measures.
Officers requested medical assistance to the scene. Franklin was transported to a local hospital by ATCEMS with serious injuries, and later died from his injuries.