Author: Wes Wilson
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Body-camera recordings of a deadly Austin police shooting Jan. 5 were released to family members, attorneys and the officers involved Tuesday.
The mother of 27-year-old Alex Gonzales, the man who was shot and killed, was set to speak at a press conference after having seen the footage, but she was too overcome with emotion to do so.
Other family representatives and community advocates spoke about the incident, including Bertha Delgado. She called the length of time it took APD to release the footage “unacceptable.”
“Our community is in danger because we don’t trust APD,” she said. “The community is backing up Ms. Gonzales’ family, and we’re not going to stop fighting for her.”
APD said in a press release Tuesday, while the press conference was happening, they will release the video to the public though its website Wednesday.
Officer shot at Alex Gonzales in traffic before he was later killed
Off-duty police officer Gabriel Gutierrez was driving in his personal car and shot at Gonzalez from the moving car after he said Gonzales cut him off in traffic and then pointed a gun at him. After shooting at Gonzales, Officer Gutierrez called for backup. There was no body cam footage of this officer’s actions. Police said they later did find a gun in Gonzales’ car.
Gonzales drove a little farther before stopping on Wickersham Lane in southeast Austin as other on-duty police officers responded.
APD says body cam and dash cam footage shows officers gave Gonzales multiple commands that he did not follow. He got out of his car and went to the back passenger side of his car and reached inside. A responding on-duty police officer, Luis Serrato, then shot Gonzales multiple times, killing him.
A woman was in the passenger seat and was also shot. A baby in the backseat was not hurt.
Gutierrez has been with the Austin Police Department for five years. Serrato has been with APD for two years.
Delay in the release of body cam footage
Austin police were supposed to release the dash cam and body cam footage of the shooting within 60 days, according to city policy, but failed to do so. That would have been March 6. As of April 27, it has been an additional 52 days since the video was supposed to have been released.
Austin police blamed the delay on the weeklong winter storm that hit in mid-February.
There have been multiple videos that were delayed, prompting families of those killed to speak out in March.