People have taken to social media to demand answers in yet another police shooting of an unarmed Black man. A Harris County Texas deputy shot the man around noon on March 22 in the middle of a Houston street.
Danny Ray Thomas, 34, was arguing with another person and acting erratic when the deputy arrived at the scene, according to the Houston Chronicle. The officer fired a single shot at Thomas, who died later at a hospital. Authorities claimed that Thomas had an object in his hand, but investigators did not recover a weapon.
The shooting was captured on video by witnesses who were laughing as the encounter unfolded. A woman is heard on the video saying, “He about to get Tased.” Thomas, whose pants were around his ankles, walked toward the officer. But instead of firing a Taser, the officer used his gun.
The witnesses were in shock after the gunshot. Shock turned into bewilderment about why the deputy used lethal force in that situation. And confusion turned to anger. “Why he shot him. Why he shot that man?” one of the witnesses yelled. “You supposed to Tase that man.”
This is at least the ninth officer-involved shooting in the county this year, according to the newspaper. Sheriff Ed Gonzalez offered condolences to Thomas’ family. “These situations are always difficult and so the main thing we can do is to make sure that we get the facts and that we’re thorough and transparent,” he said.
The shooting happened just four days after police in Sacramento, California fatally shot Stephon Clark, which sparked angry protests. As news of this latest shooting gains national attention, folks are going on social media to demand answers.