Activists: 'Without cop shooting fixes, we'll shut down Houston and Super Bowl'

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Activists say without cop shooting fixes, they'll shut down Houston and Super Bowl. (KTRK)

Activists on Tuesday threatened to shut down the city and disrupt the Houston Super Bowl if changes aren't made to the way Houston handles police shootings, such as the one that killed Alva Braziel on July 9.

The crowd also demanded more transparency from the city police department.

Some of those demands came in the wake of a Ted Oberg Investigates report featuring a man who said he was abused at the hands of a Houston Police Officer. The man, Reuben Williams, who was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, struggled when police attempted to take his blood.

Later, he was handcuffed and escorted to a cell, the officer said Williams tried to spit on him, according to reports. Then the officer said he pushed Williams away. Then, William's head slams against the jail door frame and he drops to the floor with blood from his head smearing the wall and floor of the cell.

It was all caught on video.

VIDEO: Rare glimpse in HPD lockup; head bashed, blood-smeared floor

But Houston police held on to the video for months and asked a judge to keep it secret.

The officer's shove -- the officer says to keep Williams from spitting -- and Williams slamming his head opened a cut on his head that needed 10 stitches to close.

The officer denies doing that.

A grand jury and the department found nothing wrong.

But now activists say that may not be enough transparency to build community and police trust. Indeed, police policies and state law at times allow videos -- either surveillance or body cameras -- to be kept from public view.

"My goal is always to be as transparent as possible," Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a written statement through a spokeswoman. "There are different circumstances and legalities associated with each instance. We will have to make decisions on a case-by-case basis. There just isn't an answer that I can give at this time that will be applicable to every situation."

Activists suggest changing the policy to open up more videos to public scrutiny would allow Houstonians to put more faith in the process.

"Whether good or bad we need to see it," activist Travis McGee told Ted Oberg Investigates outside city hall. "Why does public service need so much privacy?"

Related Topics:
Ted Oberg Investigates
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