'I'm going to shoot you': Harris Co. deputy's bodycam captures Roderick Brooks take Taser

Deputy Garrett Hardin, whose bodycam captured Brooks' shooting, is on paid administrative leave.

Pooja Lodhia Image
Saturday, July 23, 2022
Deputy heard on bodycam warn shoplifting suspect before shooting him
Harris County sheriff's deputy told shoplifting suspect Roderick Brooks that he would shoot him when Brooks got hold of a Taser, bodycam video shows.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Family members of a shoplifting suspect who was shot to death while pinned down by a Harris County sheriff's deputy insist the bodycam footage of the incident doesn't paint the entire picture of their loved one's death.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office made a video public on Friday of Roderick Brooks' July 8 takedown and death. Sgt. Garrett Hardin went after the 47-year-old on foot while responding to a shoplifting and assault call at a Dollar General on FM-1960.

The HCSO's footage shows Hardin spot a man matching the description of the Dollar General suspect. That person runs and the sergeant goes after him.

Hardin tells Brooks he will use his Taser on him before they both wind up at a gas station, where the stun gun was deployed. Hardin then takes down Brooks, who tries to struggle face down while the sergeant is pinned on him.

"Why are you tasing me?" Brooks is heard asking before the stun gun enters the view and is in the suspect's reach.

The video then indicates that Brooks is holding the stun gun, and Hardin is heard telling him to put it down.

"I'm going to shoot you. Put that down!" Hardin says, before one shot discharges.

Brooks becomes motionless, and Hardin calls for medical attention.

SEE ALSO: Video raises questions after Harris Co. deputy shoots and kills assault suspect (from July 12)

The family of the man killed said the deputy used "unjustified and unnecessary use of lethal force." Video obtained by ABC13 shows the moments immediately after the shooting.

Family reaction to footage

The sheriff's office released the bodycam video on the same day Brooks' family laid him to rest in Longview, Texas.

While the law enforcement agency said the family was shown the footage before the release, two of Brooks' sisters don't believe the video shows everything, and they have called on every piece of footage to go public.

"If the bodycam showed one thing, we need to see the true tape. That tape's not true, because when we saw pictures from the autopsy, Roderick's whole right face is bruised up," said Demetria Brooks-Glaze, Roderick's sister, whose assessment she bases from witness accounts. "We did not see him one time where they blanked it out - I don't know if (Hardin) was hitting Roderick or what was going on. But the witnesses on Friday night ... stated that it was hard to watch."

PREVIOUS STORY: Family of man killed by HCSO sergeant demands to see body camera video

The sister believes Hardin beat her brother up because she knows him not to fight back.

The family's lawyer maintains this confrontation did not have to escalate to the point it did.

"That Taser could not harm the officer. So for him to use unreasonable, unnecessary deadly force against someone who had a device that was non-lethal, that was cold-blooded murder," Sadiyah Evangelista Karriem, the family's attorney, said

Brooks, who was unarmed at the time of the chase and takedown, had mostly theft and trespassing charges, according to arrest records. He was arrested days before his death for stealing shampoo and beer and posted a $2,000 bond.

But the family doesn't think shoplifting should have led to his death.

"A man that steals shampoo and soap and toiletries and things of that nature in order to survive is a man who did not need to be put in jail," community activist Deric Muhammad said during a July 12 event with Brooks' family. "This is a man who needed to be given help with the personal problems the mental and emotional issues he may have been suffering from at that time."

The sergeant, and what's next in the case

Sgt. Hardin, whom sources told ABC13 was already under scrutiny for his stun gun use on a man a week earlier, remains on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

The incident remains under investigation by the Harris County Sheriff's Office Homicide Division, Sheriff's Office Internal Affairs, and the Harris County District Attorney's Office. An autopsy is being performed by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

Hardin's attorney last week cautioned against releasing the video "without the proper context."

"We have no doubt Sgt. Hardin was well within his rights and will be exonerated. What he did was necessary for his safety, and that of others," Justin Keiter, Hardin's attorney, said.

SEE ALSO: Harris Co. sergeant accused of killing assault suspect involved in questionable incident week before

A deputy accused of pulling the trigger in a deadly shooting is also accused of ignoring his training and using his taser on a man who fell from a bridge the week before.

For more on this story, follow Pooja Lodhia on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram.