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Groups call for HPD to release body camera footage from recent officer-involved shootings

HOUSTON – The death of 27-year old Nicolas Chavez on Houston’s east side was the first of six officer-involved shootings in nearly a month. The latest one taking place Sunday night on the southside.

Several civil rights and community organizations came together Monday at the Houston Police Department Headquarters calling for transparency. They requested Chief Art Acevedo to release body cam videos from all the shootings.

“The public has a right to know how and why it occurred,” said Shelby Stewart, a former member of HPD for 28 years.

Acevedo was unavailable for comment during the Memorial Day holiday. However, the department said the chief’s stance for not releasing videos includes protecting families and trial venues if one is warranted.

One activist alleged differences in operations for different communities.

“Look at where this is happening. I bet you won’t go to River Oaks and catch somebody on their knees getting shot," said Cynthia Cole of the Greater Houston Coalition of Justice at the press conference.

The criticism wasn’t reserved for HPD. Ashton Woods of Black Lives Matter Houston had a direct message for Mayor Sylvester Turner.

“I will be a thorn in the side of your left a** cheek,” he said.

Woods said the group is demanding justice and believes there is a lack of accountability.

“Mr. Mayor Turner, you might want Houston to be a welcoming city, and you have done some commendable things. But you keep standing behind people blindly because they wear a badge and uniform instead of doing your job and holding people accountable,” he said.

KPRC 2 Investigates spoke briefly with a relative of Chavez and a woman who knew him at his memorial site. They did not want to speak on-camera but indicated they were aware of the investigations into Chavez’s death.