New reports reveal that Schaston Hodge, the 27-year-old man fatally shot by police officers last month in South Dallas, had initially been stopped by the Department of Public Safety Troopers (DPS) for failing to signal at a turn.
On August 17, DPS attempted to stop Hodge, and “within minutes,” he was fatally shot, according to documents obtained by The Dallas Morning News.
Very few details leading up to Hodge’s death have been released, however, The News requested that any body-camera and/or dash-camera video from that evening, along with any 911 audio and incident reports, be released to the public, in order to reach a better understanding of the events leading up to the shooting.
DPS investigators alleged that Hodge had a handgun and shot at the troopers. However, authorities initially stated that Hodge “pulled a handgun” out, but did not open fire, according to a custodial death report.
Temani Adams, the attorney representing Hodge’s mother, Shandra Brackens-Hodge, says the family still has many unanswered questions surrounding her son’s death. Adams said the family received conflicting information from witnesses regarding the shooting, according to Dallas News.
In a letter to the attorney general, the local sheriff’s department wrote, “Because this is an ongoing investigation, the release of potential evidence would interfere with the investigation and prosecution of this case.” The letter continued, “Consequently, the Department believes these responsive records are excepted from required public disclosure at least until the investigation is complete.”
DPS has repeatedly declined to provide details about the actions that led to the shooting, including the alleged traffic violation DPS claimed to have pulled Hodge over for, Dallas News reported. According to the sheriff’s office, Hodge did not have any active warrants in Dallas County.