Outrage after Houston police shoot and kill unarmed Black man
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As students and allies prepared to march against gun violence in Washington, police in Houston reportedly gunned down yet another unarmed Black man.
According to AtlantaBlackStar, 34-year-old Danny Ray Thomas was shot and killed by a Harris County Sheriff Office deputy in Houston last Thursday.
Eye-witnesses to the shooting told news outlets that Danny Ray Thomas was walking aimlessly down the street with his pants down. The man also said he appeared to be talking to himself and “hitting vehicles” as they drove past him.
After allegedly striking a vehicle the driver exited the car and the two men began fighting.
When Houston police officers reportedly arrived officers claim that Thomas was seen with an object in his hand.
But the Sheriff Office spokesman Jason Spencer told the Houston Chronicle, “we have not recovered a weapon at this point.”
The Houston officer also claims that Thomas ignored instructions from the unidentified deputy.
Marketa Thomas, the sister of the Danny Ray Thomas, confirmed that her brother suffered from depression and mental illness.
“Knowing that he was OK when I woke up every day made me fine… And knowing that my brother is no longer here—you think I’m going to be fine?” Markets said. “I’m not going to be fine. That’s my brother.”
Danny Ray Thomas was also the father of two children who allegedly were drowned by their mother, Sheborah Thomas in 2016. The children were only 5 and 7 years old.
A shooting in Sacramento
The fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark in his grandparent’s backyard last Sunday has raised many questions.
The young father of two boys was shot and killed by two Sacramento police officers while holding a cellphone.
Stephon Clark leaves behind two young sons, 1-year-old Cairo and 3-year-old Aiden.
The Sacramento Bee reports that the Sacramento police department has killed at least 16 people in confrontation with authorities since 2016. Some were reportedly armed with guns, while others are said to have had knives and three were unarmed. The officers involved in the shooting of Stephon Clark have been placed on administrative leave as the investigation continues.
Officers claim that they encountered Clark while looking for a suspect who was breaking car windows. The two police officers on the scene say they thought Clark was holding a “toolbar/crowbar” when they approached him in his grandparent’s backyard. Clark was merely holding his cellphone.
The Sacramento Police Department released two audio and three video recordings from the shooting Wednesday night, according to Sacbee. The only command given by one officer in the video to Stephon Clark is, “Put your hands up, gun!” What follows is the sound of a barrage of 20 shots with each officer reportedly firing 10 times.
“As soon as they did the command, they started shooting,” said Stephon Clark’s aunt to the Sacramento Bee. “They said ‘put your hands up, gun’ and then they just let loose on my nephew.”
“They didn’t give him a chance to put his hands up or anything, and then when they shot him down, they knew they messed up,” she continued.
According to family members Stephon Clark was just trying to get inside his home.
The Sacramento Bee reports, “It was normal for Clark and others to enter the home through the backyard because the front doorbell doesn’t work and she and her husband, who is in a wheelchair, have poor mobility. People would knock on the back window and ask her to use an automatic opener to raise the garage door to admit them.”