From Sandra Bland to Botham Jean to Atatiana Jefferson, law enforcement in Texas continues to boggle the mind. Now the latest case of two Black men who were murdered in Texas is another case of police in the Lone Star State being clueless.
On Oct. 26, two Black men were shot and several others injured after a shooting at an off-campus Texas A&M University Halloween party in Greenville, Texas. Brandon Ray Gonzales, 23, was arrested due to a witness s identifying him “as the gunman through the suspect’s Facebook profile and from photos of the suspect shown by investigators” and the “witness later saw him with a large group playing dice in a restroom, then saw him leave the restroom, pull a handgun from his waist and begin shooting.”
Gonzalez was arrested, hit with a capital murder charge and a bond set at $1 million. He said he was arrested at his job, which is an auto dealership where he washes cars. Sheriff’s Sgt. Jeff Haines said investigators were “100%, without a doubt” sure that Gonzales was guilty.
They were wrong.
The 23-year-old maintained his innocence and in a television interview said he was not even in the venue when the shooting happened. Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks claimed investigators identified after “pushing and pushing until people finally started coming forward.”
Now Gonzalez has been released. The Associated Press reports investigators said “additional information has come to light.” Meeks is blaming the release on “the lack of cooperation from witnesses.” Meeks also said, “We have requested the Hunt County District Attorney’s Office take no action on Mr. Gonzales’ case at this time and that he be released from custody.”
There were protests over his arrest, including a rally at the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office. According to Dallas News, “After the 23-year-old was released, Rev. Jeff Hood, who organized the protests said, “This is merely the sheriff’s department wiping egg off their face. The outcome of this case illustrates the incompetence of the Hunt County sheriff’s department. The spirit of justice has prevailed, and Brandon Gonzales is free.”
Watch the video below of Gonzales speaking out after he was released: