Four Houston police officers have been fired over their involvement in the fatal shooting of Nicolas Chavez, who appears to be having some sort of break down in newly released bodycam footage of the April incident.
According to Daily News,officers with the Houston Police Department were responding to multiple 911 calls on April 21 when they came across 27-year-old Chavez. Witnesses told authorities he had been running in and out of traffic on the highway before their arrival.
Police Chief Art Acevedo announced their firings on Thursday while showing video of the violent 15-minute confrontation, which sees officers shooting Chavez with stun guns and bean bags before firing off dozens of rounds of gunfire, Click2Houston reported.
Police said Chavez had a “pointed object” when they arrived on the scene, which he was using to repeatedly stab himself.
Despite repeated warnings in addition to the non-lethal use of force, Chavez was still “armed with a metal object and began moving quickly toward” the first officer, who then discharged his firearm alongside one of the other officers.
A police statement issued at the time said he then crawled toward a dropped stun gun and pointed it at officers who, “fearing for their lives,” fired at him.
Acevedo called the first round of gunfire “objectionably reasonable,” while the final barrage of 21 shots by remaining four officers was not, ABC News reported.
“The discharge of those 21 shots by those four members are not objectively reasonable,” Acevedo said.
“I don’t consider them objectively reasonable; the chain of command does not consider them objectively reasonable and I believe anyone that watches this will see they had a lot of opportunities and a lot of other options readily available to them that we, as long as I’m the police chief of this city, I will expect my officers to take would see they had a lot of opportunities and a lot of other options readily available to them.”
The Houston chief added, “You don’t get to shoot somebody 21 times because at that time, when we discharged those 21 rounds, Mr. Chavez was at his greatest level of incapacitation.”