July 10, 2016 3:25 pm -

The police say he pointed a gun at him. Surveillance video from a nearby gas station shows otherwise.

Houston Police said Alva Braziel was waving a gun around and pointed it at them when they opened fire. But surveillance footage from a nearby gas station suggests otherwise.

The video, which began circulating Saturday night on Twitter, shows Braziel walk out toward an intersection. When the squad car arrives, he appears to put his hands in the air and turn around, standing still for a few seconds before police shoot him.

Both officers involved reportedly had body cameras on them, but the footage has not yet been released.

Fury over Braziel’s death has erupted in the wake of two other citizen-recorded videos capturing police shooting black men in Minnesota and Louisiana. The deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile have triggered nationwide protests this week. In the midst of the outcry over those killings, a dozen officers in Dallas were attacked by a sniper while protecting one such protest. Five officers were killed.

It’s not yet clear whether or not Braziel had a gun or if he threatened police. Police protocol in most U.S. cities encourages officers to use lethal force if they feel someone is threatening them, but there are often many other tools and opportunities to de-escalate a situation.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.