Police have released the body camera footage of the fatal shooting of Joshua Feast, a 22-year-old Black man who was killed by a La Marque, Texas police officer.
According to police, Officer Jose Santos was looking for Feast as part of an investigation into two drive-by shootings. Santos found Feast around 11:10 p.m. on Dec. 9 and says he saw Feast holding a gun.
In the body camera video, Santos can be seen approaching a car as Feast runs out of the passenger side of the vehicle. As Feast runs away from the officer, Santos get out of his car and shoots at him.
Feast runs to the driveway of a nearby house where he collapses to the ground. Santos requests medics and back up to the scene and tells in coming units to “recover the gun he (Feast) dropped.”
Feast was taken to a hospital by ambulance where he died.
An autopsy of Feast’s body showed he died of a single gunshot wound to the back.
Police said a second handgun was found in Feast’s clothing as he was being treated in the ambulance.
The attorney representing Officer Santos said although there was no audio for the first 30 seconds of the video, the officer called Feast by name and told him to drop his weapon after seeing a gun. Santos fired after seeing the weapon in Feast’s hand, the attorney said.
“When you look at the video, frame by frame, that’s not how the real world works,” Greg Cagle, the attorney representing Santos, said. “When Officer Santos sees Mr. Feast go for the firearm in his waistband, that’s when he has to make a firing decision.”
Because the first 30 seconds of the video have no audio, it is unclear whether Santos actually told Feast to drop his weapon before firing. Feast cannot be seen in the body-cam footage until he is running from the car, so it is also unclear whether he was holding the gun when Santos approached him.
La Marque police said the reason there is no audio in the beginning of the body-camera footage is because of a feature where the cameras only record video for the first half minute as a buffer.
Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney representing Feast’s family, alleged that the body camera video released on Monday disputed the sheriff’s claims that Feast pointed a gun. Crump is also alleging that members of the sheriff’s office lied to protect Santos.
“Because it is clear that the Sheriff’s department cannot be trusted to evaluate and relay the evidence truthfully and impartially, we demand oversight from the Texas Attorney General and an independent investigation from the Department of Justice,” Crump said.