HOUSTON - A Harris County grand jury on Thursday declined to indict two Houston police officers involved in the 2016 shooting death of Alva Braziel.
Investigators said Officers L. Lopez and E. Marcias were patrolling early July 9 in the area of Cullen Boulevard and Ward Street in southeast Houston when they noticed Braziel, 38, with a gun. They said Braziel first pointed the gun in the sky and then at the officers. They said that was when officers fired at Braziel, killing him.
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In the days that followed the shooting, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner ordered the release of any video connected to the shooting, saying he wanted to stop misinformation and relieve tensions.
Braziel’s family argued the video is incomplete, after it was revealed footage from the cameras worn by officers did not begin until after the fatal shots were fired.
"It's not fair because you have all your proof, evidence ... you had evidence showing that Alva had his hands in the air, you had evidence showing the officers saying they don't know why they killed him," Alva's wife, Nikita Braziel, said.
On Thursday, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said this is the second time a grand jury has declined to indict the officers in this case. She said the case went before a grand jury a second time after Braziel’s family said they were unaware of the proceedings, and they requested another opportunity to present the case to the grand jury.
“Grand juries comprised of citizens review all police shootings,” Ogg said in a written statement. “This enables the community, not prosecutors or police, to ultimately determine whether a person should be indicted.”
Both of the officers involved were placed on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of an investigation.
Lopez joined the force in May 2003, while Macias joined the force in June 2006. Both were assigned to the gang division at the time of the shooting.
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