The heartbroken mother of 27-year-old Charion Lockett stood with dozens outside Houston police headquarters downtown voicing their concern over the nature of Lockett’s death, saying their loved one was unjustly killed at the hands of police.
The family is filing a federal lawsuit, saying the officers were not trained properly. The family’s attorneys held a news conference outside HPD headquarters and claimed that the newly released body camera video shows an officer firing first.
“Justice will be served. We anticipate filing a federal lawsuit that highlights the fact that these officers were not trained properly. To highlights the fact that these incidents occur far too often,” Taft Foley, Lockett’s family’s attorney said Thursday.
Lockett was killed on Feb. 7 at his home while Houston police were serving an arrest warrant for an aggravated robbery charge.
However, Lockett’s attorneys said the tip police got that prompted the warrant was bogus, saying the tip came from a known criminal.
”They take the word of a known thug, they take out a warrant, and before you know it, this young man is gunned down,” Foley said.
Meanwhile, they said Lockett was an upstanding citizen who was never previously convicted or arrested.
They said he loved the law and was studying to be a lawyer. Lockett had a Bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University and a Master’s Degree from Lamar University and was known as a “go-getter.”
“My son loved the Lord. His routine every day was to wake up in the morning, exercise, and go back in the house and study for the LSAT test,” Shanetta Guidry-Lockett, Lockett’s mother said.
Houston police released body camera video of the Feb. 7 operation, showing multiple angles from different officers’ viewpoints. Houston police Assistant Chief Belinda Null states in the video that Lockett fired at officers first and then officers responded.
“As officers approached the residence, Mr. Lockett was sitting inside his vehicle in the driveway. He stepped out and began firing upon officers as they moved to his front door. Four officers responded by discharging their duty weapons towards the suspect, striking him,” HPD Assistant Chief Belinda Null, said in HPD’s released video.
However, Lockett’s attorneys argued that the released summary video was edited and not in chronological order.
“This is the tale of two tapes,” Foley said.
Foley and his colleague, in this case, civil rights attorney Randall Kallinen, pointed to a specific viewpoint of the video--which disputed the body camera video of “Officer Inocencio.” Foley and Kallinen claimed the video shows Inocencio firing his weapon first.
“In that clip, you will see that officer extend his pistol and fire shots before you hear any other shots,” Foley said.
They also noted what appeared to be missing.
“Not one video shows Mr. Lockett shooting a gun or shooting anybody,” Kallinen said.
Ultimately, both attorneys and the family said HPD did not do their due diligence and were poorly trained to execute this operation. They said that HPD never identified themselves to Lockett.
“They pull up on you unmarked, not in uniform, and stick out their pistol. What would you do?” Foley said.
They said Lockett did not have to die.
“[Houston Police] never called him in for questioning. They never investigated him. They never attempted to contact him,” Foley said.
The family said they are demanding justice for Foley. KPRC reached out to HPD about the family’s claims, but HPD has yet to comment on the investigation.