Texas City, TX – Controversy is surrounding yet another fatal shooting involving a police officer and a young black male. This time, however, the man who was killed by the officer was reportedly armed and shooting toward a crowd of people exiting a bar, before he turned the gun in the direction of the officer. The reaction from the crowd was surprising as they began shouting and throwing rocks at the officer and his vehicle in spite of the fact he very likely saved lives with his quick reaction.
Early Friday morning, the management of a bar called HT’s Lounge initially called for police assistance in dispersing a large number of people who were refusing to leave, so the bar could be closed. While police were en route, a dangerous altercation developed outside the establishment and shots were fired.
According to Texas City Police Chief Robert Burby via ABC13 News:
After the gunman was shot, we are told by Texas City Police Captain Joe Stanton that the crowd reacted violently and the officer had to call for assistance.
“There was a large disturbance that occurred after the shooting. Rocks and bottles were being thrown at the officers. A county-wide assist was dropped by the Texas City Police Department.”
Although the gunman has not been officially named, one source has identified him to the media, and already, there are conflicting stories about how the incident played out.
While police haven’t identified the deceased suspect, a cousin tells us he’s 20-year-old Carlton Smith. That cousin also said that Smith was protecting himself from people attacking him and that someone else had the gun and dropped it.
“They couldn’t see him. He was hiding from somebody,” that cousin told us. “He was running. When he came up behind the car, the police shot him in the back and in the head.”
Earlier reports indicate that the police department does in fact have video of the shooting that seems to have been reviewed before an official statement was made later in the day. There will be a joint investigation with several law enforcement agencies in which much more evidence is expected to be obtained and reviewed to include any cell phone video footage and statements by witnesses.
Given the reaction of violence from the crowd toward the responding police officer after the gunman was shot and the obviously conflicting accounts by “eye witnesses,” it seems as if the attitude toward law enforcement in black communities continues to become increasingly volatile since the incident in Ferguson, Missouri.
We will withhold judgment until all the facts have been divulged and the investigation is complete, however, if this is the beginning of a trend in which our police officers are attacked on the scene by bystanders while attempting to serve and protect citizens, they may stop answering calls for help in certain neighborhoods.
Courtesy of Mad World News