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David Joseph: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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David Joseph. (Twitter)

A 17-year-old black teen was naked and unarmed when he was fatally shot by a police officer Monday morning in Austin, Texas, police say.

David Joseph was killed by Officer Geoffrey Freeman, who is also black, after police were called to a “disturbance,” just before 10 a.m., the Austin Chronicle reports.

Freeman was fired in March for violating department policy, but a grand jury declined to indict him in May. Dashcam video was released after Freeman was cleared of criminal wrongdoing. Watch it here.
“Any time we have an officer-involved shooting and there is a loss of life this is a tragic event,” Assistant Police Chief Brian Manley said at a press conference. “It is a tragic event for the police department, it’s a tragic event for our community, because no matter what the circumstances are behind that shooting, someone has lost a love one, whether it be a parent, a child, a brother or a sister, and that’s tragic.”

“Our family is devastated today by the loss of our beloved son and brother, David. We are shocked and saddened that he was taken from us in an unexpected and violent way, and are struggling to understand how our child was stolen from us by the police,” his family said in a statement.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. The Officer Was Told by Dispatchers That There Was No Weapon Involved in the ‘Disturbance’

Police said the 17-year-old victim, David Joseph, who was completely naked and not armed, charged at Officer Geoffrey Freeman before he was shot, the Austin Chronicle reports.

Officer Geoffrey Freeman had been called to an apartment complex on Yaegar Lane for a reported disturbance at 9:57 a.m., but could not find anyone. Witnesses told Freeman 911 was called after a man was chasing another man through the complex.

He stayed in the neighborhood and located Joseph at about 10:30 a.m. in the 12000 block of Nature’s Bend, according to police.

Freeman told investigators he gave Joseph an initial set of commands, which he did not respond to. Freeman said Joseph then charged at him and he fired his gun.
Police radio dispatches, courtesy of Broadcastify.com, show that a dispatcher told Freeman there were no weapons reported to be involved in the initial disturbance. The audio can be listened to below:

A dispatcher told Freeman the 911 caller said “somebody jumped a fence and tried to chase a neighbor.” The dispatcher described the suspect as “a black male, tall, thin, wearing jeans, boxers.” The suspect was running after a neighbor toward a gate and then stopped, the dispatcher said.

All police officers are equipped with Tasers, Chief Art Acevedo said. Assistant Police Chief Brian Manley would not speculate why Freeman did not use his.

Manley also would not say how many shots were fired.

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2. A Month Before His Death Joseph Tweeted ‘After We Die Are We Dead Forever?’

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David Joseph, a 17-year-old from Austin, Texas, was naked and unarmed when he was fatally shot by a police officer. (Twitter)

Joseph was a student at John B. Connally High School in Austin. His family said in a statement he was a senior and “dreaming of going to college in the fall.”

“We want a full and fair investigation into what led Officer Freeman to kill David. David had no weapon. We do not know what lead to his meeting with Officer Freeman, but we know that our David should not have been taken away from us,” his family said. “No family should have to suffer like we are today.”

He posted on Twitter using the account @ProntoDavidJ. In January, he posted a tragic tweet about dying:

His final tweet, on February 5, days before his death, is below:

He played football and soccer for his school, and loved to listen to music. He had a life full of possibilities in front of him,” his family said.

David Joseph, David Joseph austin, David Joseph shooting

(Family photo)

He is survived by his mother, Ketty Sully, and brothers Fally Joseph and Mark Joseph.

Reporters asked police whether Joseph had any previous criminal record or mental health issues.

“Today is not [the day] to talk about the past of this young man,” Austin Police Department Chief Brian Manley told reporters.

Police said his family was notified of his death Tuesday. An autopsy, including a toxicology report, is being conducted.

LISTEN: Austin Police Radio Dispatches From David Joseph Shooting

David Joseph, a naked and unarmed black teen, was fatally shot by Austin Police Officer Geoffrey Freeman. Listen to police radio audio from the incident here.

Click here to read more

3. The Officer Who Shot Joseph Has Been an Austin Cop Since 2005

Officer Geoffrey Freeman has been with the Austin Police Department since 2005, according to the Austin American Statesman.

No other information about his record with the department or whether he has held any other law enforcement jobs was immediately released.

Freeman, a patrol officer, has been placed on administrative duty per procedure.

“We do value the sanctity of all life here at the department,” Assistant Chief Brian Manley said. “So yesterday’s events, as with all our officer-involved shootings, are tragedies that we look to avoid when possible.”

According to KEYE-TV, there were seven officer-involved shootings in Austin in 2015. This is the first of 2016.

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4. The NAACP & Other Local Groups Have Condemned the Shooting, Saying It Shows More Training Is Needed for Police

The shooting was condemned by the Austin chapter of the NAACP. President Nelson Linder told the Austin American Statesman that the incident highlights the need for better training for police officers so that similar situations are handled better in the future.

“Once again it is very clear that this policy of response to resistance is not being enforced,” Linder told the newspaper. “They need to rethink this whole approach, especially if there might be mental illness issues.”

Jim Harrington, director and founder of the Texas Civil Rights Project said in a statement, “It is almost incomprehensible that a young naked man would be considered dangerous such that a police officer would kill him.”

He called for “a full, fair, and open investigation” of the shooting. This is the pattern that led to the U.S. Department of Justice investigation a few years back, and it appears that the pattern of police shootings continues. We intend to pursue this matter with the Department of Justice once more.”


5. There Is Audio of Part of the Incident, but There’s No Known Video of the Shooting

Police said at a press conference Tuesday that the dashboard camera on Officer Geoffrey Freeman’s patrol car did not record video of the shooting. But audio was recorded. The audio has not been made public.

Assistant Police Chief Brian Manley told reporters the audio recorded the moment when Freeman began issuing commands to Joseph to when he allegedly charged at the officer. He said that incident was just a “matter of seconds.”

Manley said the investigation will be complex.

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64 comments

  1. White America is getting really tired of the violent black youth who won’t listen to the cops. It was the BLACKS WHO CALLED THE COPS! Police officers should stop responding to black areas for crime calls. Let the law of the black jungle take its own retarded course. It is no use trying to integrate or educate these young blacks who only hold up Puff Daddy as some idol of fortune. Forget black crime! It’s not worth a police officer’s career to even think about trying to police the black community….because the black leaders only complain when the job is done right.

    • Another clueless Cracker.. Its amazing how Honkys think there shit dont stink. Honkys murder rape steal and kill everyday.

    • You are one million percent correct. Blacks don’t want to acknowledge how the majority of them are savages and mentally ill. Look at the picture of this 17 year old with a gun in his waistband. If you charge a cop, you’re gonna get shot. End of story.

    • You are the scum that even your own white america won’t claim I’d spit right in your face if you even dared to say any of this to me I am an educated black man and will stand for any injustice. You on the other hand your just another ignorant Caucasian who is hiding behind a computer. Life is very precious this is not the place to be denouncing someone after they just passed have some respect before the same happens to you.

      • Educated black men that want to spit in your face to get their point across is exactly what the rest of America is sick and tired of. Why don’t you try an learn the English language and to communicate with it before you call yourself educated?

      • “I’d spit right in your face” men have been killed for less. I hope this person does not a CCP you may get shot to one day. you are a hot head . and the person you spit in their face maybe as well.

      • Don’t you mean you will stand AGAINST any injustice? You said you will stand FOR any injustice. And the correct form of the word, you’re just another ignorant, is not YOUR, it is You’re, it stands for You Are, not Your, which is the possessive form of the word, as in MY CAR, and YOUR CAR. They didn’t mention in the article that the suspect who was shot, was naked, and tried to grab a woman who went out to get her mail. He was a muscular athlete, and he tried to grab her. I have NO idea why they left the attempted sexual assault out of the article…. I know the victim’s husband.

      • You’re a racist. That’s what you are. And if blacks are so tough, why aren’t they in control of their own destinies? Nah, you gotta blame white people for your own racism.

    • SO WHY ARE SO MANY WHITES IN MY COMMUNITY IN WV MAKING AND USING METH?? WHY ARE SO MANY WHITES ROBBING OLD LADIES IN THE PARKING LOTS OF WALMART?? WHY ARE THE WHITES ROBBING LOCAL BANKS EVERY OTHER DAY? WHY DO THE WHITES RAPE AND SODOMIZE LITTLE BOYS AND GIRLS?? ABUSING THEIR OWN SONS AND DAUGHTERS, WHO ARE OFTEN JUST BABIES? WHY ARE SO MANY WHITES ADDICTED TO HEROIN WHILE PREGNANT AND GIVING BIRTH TO DRUG ADDICTED BABIES?? MANY TIMES THE DRUG ADDICTED BABY NURSERY AT THE LOCAL HOSPITAL HOLDS WAY MORE NEW BORNS THAN THE NON-ADDICTED NURSERY… YES THEY HAD TO MAKE A SPECIAL NURSERY. BUT IF WE GO BY YOUR THEORY THEN WE SHOULD LET THEM ALL DIE IN A HOLE SOMEWHERE???? OH NO WAIT THEY ARE 99% WHITE SO THEY’RE WORTH SAVING???? I SO DO NOT GET IT? AND IM SO THANKFUL THE GOOD LORD DID NOT GIVE ME YOUR LIFE… STAY BLESSED SIR

    • All I have to say is Jeffrey Dahmer lol. Real savages are the ones use and carry weapons. I’ve been in fights without weapons and i’m still living with no hate in my heart. Now fight a police officer with no weapon and we die. I think it’s time to get weaponized then y’all can talk shit. #stopkillingus police the biggest gang in America

    • A wise quote states you should of left your mouth closed but you opened it and erased all doubt.I bet you look ignid too.Oh that means ignorant.I know people can’t be this shallow as to what’s happening. Black men are not shooting cops in Austin.What are you afraid of.I have seen people actually trying to really go at a cop and not be shot dead,what race?.Guess.

  2. You all are ridiculous the media CHOSE to put the main picture of this kid (yes kid at 17 I still thought as a child) on here to stereotype him this still does not justify the fact that this officer was WRONG for killing someone. I know a lot about the law and the use of force so I dare someone come on this post and test my knowledge as to why this cop didn’t use a NONLETHAL weapon on an UNARMED individual. Said individual just so happened to be black and of course the media makes it about race even though the officer is the same color.Why is race such a big deal we are all human beings and by the way the Caucasian race handles things these days I feel that you all are lower on the mental totem pole than I thought! My condolences to his family and hopefully this can all be sorted out peacefully.

    • The officer could have suspected that the young man killed could have been on PCP. That drug when used by people gives them super strength and it could take several police officers to contain someone like that. The fact that the victim was naked probably made the officer feel. If the young man had taken the officer’s gun, chances are the officer would be dead. Similar case happened at one of the Alabama Colleges. Except it was a black cop killing a white college student. No charges were ever pressed.

    • It’s seems rather clear to me the cop did not use nonlethal force because even the negro are sick and tired of themselves.

    • ya the cop should have just gone to hand to hand combat. taking the chance of gun taken from him and used on him .. what was this 17 young man (child) intent, do you know. cop didn’t wait to find out .. and I don’t think most cops will wait to find out. what sad is the kid was never taught to obey orders when given by law enforcement.. right or wrong orders.. in this case the order was right… STOP (DON’T ATTACK ME?). bad choice on this teens part .

  3. I’m sorry but the Cops know how to take a person into custody without killing them to me this was MURDER!!! you had a TASER !!!!! HE WAS A 17 YEAR OLD KID……WITH NO WEAPON! IF ANYTHING YOU COULD HAVE SHOT AT A LEG , BUT STILL NO WEAPON………THE COPS TODAY ARE EAGER TO KILL ANYONE……SAD SAD I FEEL FOR HIM LOSING HIS YOUNG LIFE AND HIS FAMILY HAVING TO GO ON WITHOUT HIM, god only knows what he might have been on or someone could have slipped him something too without him knowing it………WE WILL NEVER KNOW CAUSE SOMEONE JUMPED THE GUN AND KILLED YET ANOTHER ONE OF OUR YOUTH…..

      • IT SEEMS IN THE U.S. THAT WE HAVE BETTER LAWS IN PLACE FOR KILLERS OF ANIMALS THAN WE DO FOR KILLERS OF HUMAN CITIZENS. I DON’T CALL ANIMALS SCHOLARLY BUT I BELIEVE THEY DESERVE PROTECTION FROM ABUSE/NEGLECT AND MURDER, EVEN IF THEY ARE HOMELESS ANIMALS, FLEA INFESTED, SMELL BAD ECT…. CASE AND POINT>>>> VICK WENT TO PRISON FOR DOG FIGHTING…. PLEASE EXPLAIN?!?????? BECAUSE I AM AT A COMPLETE LOSS. IT SEEMS FROM THE SIMPLE COMMENT ABOVE THAT YOUR PREJUSTICE PRECEDES YOU. IS IT YOUR COMPLETE DISTAIN FOR ALL YOUNG BLACK MALES OR IS IT JUST ALL BROWN SKINNED AMERICANS OR JUST MALES OF THOSE RACES? I BET YOU HATE ALL MUSLIMS AND YOUR VOTING FOR TRUMP SO HE CAN BUILD HIS “WALL” BETWEEN THE MEXICAN/AMERICAN BORDER. MY MOTHER OFTEN REMINDS ME TO PRAY FOR PPL LIKE YOU, NO DOUBT YOU DO NEED MUCH PRAYER. ACTUALLY YOU SHOULD SAY A PRAYER OF THANKS FOR MY MOM BECAUSE IF IT WAS’T FOR HER REMINDING ME OF MY CHRISTIAN REARING THAN I WOULD PROBABLY WISH THAT ONE DAY YOU ARE WALKING DOWN AT STREET, OR GET PULLED OVER, OR ARE AT THE WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME AND A POLICE OFFICER GRACES A BULLET THROUGH YOUR BODY AND YOU CAN MEET DAVID JOSEPH AND ALL THE OTHER WE HAVE READ ABOUT OVER THE RECENT YEARS WHO HAVE MET SIMILAR FATES AND YOU CAN EXPLAIN TO THEM YOU VIEWS.

        • These fools bring it on themselves every time they die. And people like you keep blaming everyone else except the stupid boy. And it’s almost always Blacks that do this idiocy. Sorry, but when you have an I.Q. south of zero, you need to kept inside.

    • When you are on some drugs like Bath Salts and PCP you literally lose your mind. Usually the druggies are naked, one tried to cannibalize a homeless man. PCP give the user the strength of 12 men.

    • No, it was a smart decision by the officer to put that boy down. So sick of you people always defending the boys. Your “youth” should have stopped like he was ordered to do. Stupidly, and typically, he didn’t. So, he’s dead. This another Mike Brown. Charge a cop, you’re going to be shot. When are you people ever going to wise up.

    • To you, it’s murder. To the rest of us, The officer did what was needed, and good for him. Surprised that boy lived as long as he did.

  4. I feel very bad for his family. He was way too young to die. May he be with the angels now. As for the judgement being passed below and elsewhere – I cannot do that either. I do not know the whole situation.

  5. So running to a police officer without a weapon is threatening enough to use Deadly force when an individual repeatedly does not follow commands???

    Well God help me if my escape autistic, non-verbal, severely autistic yet normal looking son gets out of the house and encounters the police. He’d get executed.

  6. Nice cropped picture of the decedent. He had a gun stuffed in his pants and marijuana on the table. How convenient to leave these facts out because they do not fit your racist narrative.

  7. I love how all I see as I scroll down are a bunch of white men going “Good! He deserved it!” or “Blacks hate themselves!!” Y’all are so disgusting. Ew.

    • Kill yourself racist monkey. Or I guess we could just wait until you do something stupid and get yourself killed. It’s inevitable since you monkeys can’t follow simple commands from a guy with a gun.

  8. For the people posting all the racist remarks, saying all the cruel mean things about blacks and white. Do you realize it is you who making things worst for human kind. A mother just lost a 17 year old boy for reasons she may never know. Do you know what kind of pain that lady is in? Anonymous do you really have the decency to stand in front of Joseph David’s mom and say that to her face? do you know anything about David Joseph? Do you know him personally? instead you want to get online act like a coward saying things you cant go out and say in front of the capital building, If your that serious about displaying your hatred. you apparently hate black kids. Get on national television and show your face to the world and tell every mother if their children are not white then they are not considered children, and that only whites are superior. please i challenge to get on television and go for. go on congress or sixth street go for it, tell the people of Austin that your glad police offecer killed David Joseph, because you knew him personally.

    • The most racist people in this country are black. Deal with it. And where’s this kids dad? His mom wouldn’t be distraught if she had raised him to follow simple commands from POLICE instead of teaching him that cops are to be disrespected. And welcome to the internet, you stupid idiot. If you don’t like what people say, YOU go to the CapitOl steps and talk your black racist nonsense.

  9. There is only ONE RACE, THE HUMAN RACE. To pretend or to imply otherwise, is to go back to the days of slavery, when one ethnic group owned another one. But as for HUMANS and our HUMAN RACE, there is only one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We need to UNITE, and stop DIVIDING! Separate but Equal has never worked and never will!!!!!!!!

    • They should give him a medal for keeping your stupid ass safe. You see no problem with this kid chasing people around naked. All you know is that you hate cops. The cop was black. Maybe you’re just racist.

  10. Another lowlife slug running around with his pants down, or in this case, off. Black guys are stepping up their game. Cop made a wise decision.

  11. Screw the NAACP. And quite frankly, they haven’t accomplished much in the century or so they’ve been around.