'He should still be alive:' Father of man who was killed in officer-involved shooting said

Miya Shay Image
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Bodycam video released in fatal shooting of Nicolas Chavez
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Watch a grieving father explain his feelings after seeing bodycam footage of his 27-year-old son getting shot 21 times by Houston police before dying.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- On Thursday, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo fired the four police officers who fired 21 shots at Nicolas Chavez during a standoff in April. He also released the bodycam video which showed the 27-year-old's final minutes from multiple angles.

"He should still be alive," said grieving father Joaquin Chavez who is trying to remain stoic despite the national spotlight on his son's death.

"In the last final moments of my son's life, I feel like the police became the judge, jury and executioner," said Joaquin who is speaking for the first time since the video was publicly released. "That's what I truly believe."

Joaquin said Nicolas was the second born of his four sons. He was also a rising soccer player in his teens before a sports injury led to surgeries and the dependence on pain medication.

SEE ALSO: 4 HPD officers fired after unloading 21 shots at man in distress

As the years passed, Nicolas' mental conditions fluctuated, though his father didn't care to explain the details on his son's medical history.

"A parent loves their children, no-matter what, unconditionally. We try to guide them as best we can so they can have a successful life," Joaquin said.

The Houston Police Officers Union pushed back strongly against the officers' firings. On Thursday, Union President Joe Gamaldi fiercely defended the officers.

WATCH: Mayor Turner on officers' firings: 'You have to call a ball a ball and a strike a strike'

"It was clear in viewing the video that these officers did not want to shoot Mr. Chavez and did everything in their power not to," he said. "It's also clear that the officers were justified in policy, training, and the law."

Chief Acevedo said that three shots and the multiple Taser deployments that hit Nicolas during the standoff were justified. However, he said Chavez, who was already wounded and trying to grab a Taser, did not warrant getting shot 21 times.

"I agree," said Joaquin. "We're accountable for 100 percent of what happens."

Joaquin says he sees the release of the video and firing of the officers as just the beginning of the case. It will be up to a Harris County Grand Jury to determine if any of the officers should be held criminally responsible.

"I'm a little upset as the way Gamaldi came off trying to defend their actions, but that's his job."

Attorneys representing the officers did not want to comment on the case as of Friday, citing additional work they needed to do on behalf of their clients.

Joaquin also wanted to thank the Greater Houston Coalition for Justice, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and other community activities for bringing his son's case to light.

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