Family of Nicolas Chavez say firing of police officers is a step in the right direction
HOUSTON - The family of Nicolas Chavez says the firing of four Houston Police officers is a step in the right direction for justice, but say more needs to be done.
After reviewing the body cam video of Houston Police firing 21 shots at her unarmed son, killing him back in April, Chavez’s mother, Leantha Chavez, says the video speaks for itself.
“He’d already been hit by a car. He’d already been shot, tased, he’d already been bean bagged. What else did they want to do to him before they even decided to try and put handcuffs on him?” Leantha said.
Leantha admitted she’s happy with HPD Chief Art Acevedo’s decision to fire the four officers deemed responsible.
However, Leantha says it’s only one step closer towards justice for the Chavez family.
“I want satisfaction knowing that his children are going to be taken care of. Not so much me or the adults or anything, but Nic’s children to be taken care of, if anything,” Leantha said.
Leantha and other family members joined a news conference with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) on Thursday via Zoom.
Chavez leaves behind three young children, including his 6-year-old son, Nicolas Jr.
“He misses his dad. He has his episodes and cries everything. He doesn’t understand why. He is starting to act out in ways that I don’t know how to handle,” said Jennifer Thomas, Chavez’s ex and the mother of Nicolas Jr.
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His family is now left with questions they say they’re not sure will ever get answered with this investigation.
“Why. That’s probably the only question we’ll never get the answer to. Why didn’t they back up two feet? Why didn’t they go and contain him when he was laying on his back crying and screaming in pain. Why couldn’t they? 28 officers couldn’t control one man and put one man in handcuffs? 28?” said Thomas.
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LULAC, a Latino civil rights organization, is calling for the four ex-officers to be indicted and prosecuted for their crimes.
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HPD released the bodycam footage Thursday, nearly five months after the shooting death of Chavez on April 21.
The case will now be turned over to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office for further review. The case will eventually be presented to a grand jury for any potential charges against the four former HPD officers.