HOUSTON – Houston police released body-camera footage that shows an officer strike and kill a pedestrian in Houston’s Sunnyside area in early December.
In a video presentation, Yasar Bashir, assistant chief of the Houston Police Department’s Patrol Region 3 Command, narrates the incident.
About 5:39 p.m. on Dec. 4, an HPD patrol unit with its emergency lights activated was traveling westbound in the 4100 block of Reed Road, near Scott Street, when it left the roadway and struck pedestrian Michael Wayne Jackson, 62, before crashing into a dumpster.
The driver, Officer Orlando Hernandez, 25, called an ambulance and began CPR on Jackson within a minute of the crash, Bashir said. While talking with dispatch, Hernandez said Jackson was “not conscious, not breathing” and was bleeding from the head.
“Sir! Wake up, sir,” Hernandez shouted while prodding Jackson on the shoulder.
Paramedics pronounced Jackson dead at the scene.
Jackson’s family said he was walking to a barber shop when he was fatally struck.
“He was just a loving person,” his wife Janice Jackson told KPRC 2. “He was a loving person and he was just so kind and so nice to people.”
The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences listed Jackson’s cause of death as “multiple blunt force injuries” and his manner of death as a motor vehicle accident.
Houston Police Executive Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite said at a news conference that Jackson’s death was a tragedy.
“Our prayers are going out to the victim and his family,” Satterwhite said.
Police did not say how fast the officer was driving. The posted speed limit in the area is 40 mph.
Hernandez who has been on the force less than two years, was placed on administrative leave, Satterwhite said.
The fatal crash is under investigation by the HPD Internal Affairs Division and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
During the news conference, Assistant District Attorney Sean Teare said the investigation will be lengthy.
“The officers were responding to a violent felony,” Teare said. “And That is something we are going to take into account. . . We are not going to treat this case any different because it involves officers. It involves a human being who lost his life. So we’re going to be looking at it through that lens.”
Once the investigation is completed, the case will be presented to a grand jury, which will determine if charges are merited.
Content warning: The video below contains strong language and graphic material which some viewers may find difficult to watch. Viewer discretion is advised.