There has been a step forward in justice for a family we are representing. The two Austin Police Department Officers accused of fatally shooting our clients' son were each indicted on one count of murder and one count of deadly conduct charges by a Travis County grand jury. Although we must wait to see if the officers are found guilty, this is the first step in helping the family heal from what was a preventable tragedy.
Background of the Case
In 2019, APD officers were dispatched to a condominium where a man (our clients' son) was reported to be walking around with a knife. When officers arrived on the scene, they found the man holding the knife to his throat. They asked him to put the knife down, which he did. They asked him to turn around, which he also did.
However, as he turned to respond to authorities, two of the officers shot him. Our clients' son later died at the hospital.
This incident is a clear case of officers using excessive force that resulted in the death of an innocent person. Our clients' son, a talented scientist and researcher, was having a mental breakdown at the time of the incident. Callers informed dispatch that the man was experiencing a mental health crisis. Therefore, the response team should have included a mental health officer, or the responding officers should have handled the situation differently.
Because of our clients' son's mental state, the shooting was not justified. Yet, representation for the officers argues that our clients' son posed a danger to the responders because he refused to drop the weapon and charged at them. They claim it was a matter of the officers protecting themselves against a perceived threat.
We believe, as the case proceeds, the facts will reveal themselves and justice will be served.
At Smith & Vinson Law Firm, we are adamant about protecting the rights of those unjustly harmed at the hands of others. If you need dedicated legal representation in Austin, please reach out to us by calling (512) 359-3743 or contacting us online today.