AUSTIN (KXAN) — The family of a man found dead after he was involved in a 2019 officer-involved shooting in downtown Austin is calling for the Austin Police Department to release video of what happened.
Hutchinson had been involved in an officer-involved shooting earlier that day after police say the Maserati he was found in got into a collision in downtown Austin in the early morning hours of March 17, 2019, which eventually prompted an altercation leading to gunfire. A few dozen police officers were in the area monitoring SXSW crowds at the time, so four ran over when they heard the gunshots.
Officers DeAndre Wright, Dane O’Neill, Trey Nelson and Zachary Woods were involved.
The wrongful death lawsuit filed by Hutchinson’s family claims Hutchinson was in the backseat of the Maserati at first, then got outside of the car, then back in when shots were being fired.
The lawsuit claims officers can be seen in video evidence shooting Hutchinson, however APD has not confirmed that.
The Hutchinson family’s attorney shared a video recorded by a witness with KXAN. It shows police shooting someone in the back of an SUV.
Hutchinson’s mother, Christine Springs Hutchinson, and her attorney, Scott Ogle, say Isaiah was the one in the backseat. They believe the bullets that were shot killed him.
Ogle says police originally said Isaiah had a gun. However, he says the witness who shot the video claims Isaiah did not have a gun.
“We believe that the police officers simply got it wrong,” Ogle said.
Christine says the Travis County District Attorney’s Office did allow her to view the HALO video from the shooting once. She says as she watched her son stand outside the car, then run to get back in, she never saw a weapon.
“The police were just, you know, just shooting him,” Christine said. “Once he got in the car, they continued shooting him until they ran out of bullets, and then after they ran out of bullets they were still shooting. You could hear the gun. Click, click, click, click, click. No bullets were left.”
Ogle says Christine’s previous attorney was allowed to watch the video with her. However, he says he’s been denied the opportunity to view it as her new attorney.
APD created a new policy in 2020 that requires the department to release footage of critical incidents in which officers are involved within 60 days of any incident.
Hutchinson’s family and the Austin chapter of the NAACP are questioning why — even though Hutchinson’s case occurred before that policy was put in place — HALO camera footage hasn’t been released for more than two years after the officer-involved shooting.
“I mean you’re releasing everybody else’s information, why can’t the public know what’s going on with my case?” she asked, adding her son’s autopsy report has been kept sealed, as well.
“What’s lacking here is a common courtesy and respect for a mother. There is no way on God’s earth this should take two years,” said Nelson Linder, president of Austin’s chapter of the NAACP.
KXAN asked the City of Austin why the video of the officer-involved shooting hasn’t been released to the public after more than two years.
A city spokesperson replied, “Once a civil lawsuit is filed, the City follows the processes and procedures required by the federal courts.”
In response to that lawsuit, the city filed a court document denying any criminal wrongdoing and asking for the case to be dismissed.
“Regardless of what the law says or the camera policy says, you lost your child,” Nelson said, speaking directly to Christine. “And from a humanity standpoint, we should have a better system.”
According to the Travis County District Attorney’s Office, Hutchinson’s case is expected to be presented to a grand jury early this summer.