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.


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:

https://twitter.com/ProntoDavidJ/status/688371077395779584

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

https://twitter.com/ProntoDavidJ/status/695489213051973632

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.

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(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.

https://twitter.com/ysn_glomez/status/697168392587866112

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


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.


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.

64 Comments

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64 Comments

Anonymous

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.

Anonymous

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

Anonymous

Please don’t think this moron speaks for white people. He just represents stupid people.

Lucian

He just called you a honky. He’s not your friend, you idiot, no matter how much you kiss his butt.

Kellie

Well it was a black cop who killed him you clueless black piece of dog shit.

Malique

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.

Anonymous

There are illness in whites as well and whites do just as bad ignorance

Maisha Saint-Juste

Where’s the gun? I don’t see one in any of these pictures

Anonymous

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.

Anonymous

An educated black man….maybe, but you still vote Democrat….so you will never be a human.

Brian Shoemaker

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?

Tracy Ward

“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.

ButtersT

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.

Lucian

Because the truth doesn’t fit the narrative. And black americans don’t want to hear the truth anyway.

Lucian

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.

REBECCA TROISI

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

CEO

You answered your own question Rebecca. The Whites in your community are doing these things because they are 1% black.

Luciam

First of all, you stupid broad, turn the caps lock off. Second of all, read FBI crime stats and come back here and tell us all how whites and blacks commit the same amount of crime. Idiot.

blackleader

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

Teran Ne Ray Pennick

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.

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