New Videos Suggest Possible Alternate Narratives in Deaths of Alva Braziel and Delrawn Small

By Sameer Rao Jul 12, 2016

The weekend added more chapters to the already huge book that chronicles the police killings of Black people: Delrawn Small in New York, Tyler Gebhard in St. Louis and Alva Braziel in Houston. Police said in all three of those incidents that officers responded to physical provocation from the men involved, but new videos cast doubt on the official stories in two of those cases.


As Think Progress reported Sunday (July 10), the above video seemingly depicts Braziel with his hands up prior to being shot by Houston police officers. The video is grainy and shot from far away, but the suggestion that Braziel had his hands up contradicts a Houston police spokesperson’s statement to ABC News that Braziel pointed a gun at officers.

The spokesperson also said that the two involved officers came across Braziel early Saturday (July 9) morning, standing in the street and erratically waving a revolver. She added that after they told him to lower his weapon, Braziel pointed his gun into the air before bringing it down to waist-level; when the officers then saw the gun pointed at them, they shot him. Both officers were wearing body cameras. That footage has not yet been released.

The New York Post similarly reported on a video of Delrawn Small’s shooting by off-duty NYPD Officer Wayne Issacs on July 4. The video, shared on Friday (July 8), shows Isaacs shoot Small through his car window within seconds of Small’s approach—contradicting Isaacs’ earlier statement that Small punched him in the face at least twice. As the New York Daily News reported yesterday (July 11), the shooting happened after Small followed and then approached Isaac’s car after the officer cut him off in traffic. NYPD officials told the Daily News yesterday that Isaacs was placed on modified administrative duty and stripped of his badge and gun pending departmental and state attorney general investigations.

(H/t St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Root)