HAYS COUNTY (KXAN)— Joshua Wright’s family saw his body on Monday, weeks after he was shot and killed by a Hays County Sheriff’s corrections officer.
According to officials, he tried to escape from their custody in the Ascension Seton Hospital in Kyle on Dec. 12.
Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra asked that the body camera video be released within 10 days of the incident on Dec. 13, aligning with a somewhat new policy the Austin Police Department implemented.
The HCSO said Monday it will not be releasing the video right now, and does not have a clear timeline as to when it will.
Jordan Buckley, an activist and publisher for the Caldwell/Hays County Examiner said he is not accepting what officers said happened until the body cam footage is released.
“That’s precisely why we have body cam footage so that we can review what actually took place and see the circumstances around why Mr. Wright lost his life,” Buckley said.
In a video KXAN is awaiting approval to use from the person who recorded it, shows someone who appears to be Wright wearing what looked like shackles around his ankles at some point.
However, according to HCSO, Wright ran through the emergency room when trying to escape.
The director of the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas (CLEAT), first tweeted saying Wright “grabbed” sharp medical tools. Shortly after, the tweet was deleted, and another one was put out saying Wright “moved” toward the tools.
“I would suggest any person inside of an ER who takes any step in any direction is inadvertently making a move toward a sharp medical instrument,” Buckley said.
Texas Rangers are investigating the incident and have not released any new information as of Monday evening. It’s not clear when HCSO will release the footage, per Becerra’s request:
“...There are reports circulating that have not yet been answered by the Sheriff’s Office – that the pretrial detainee who was shot had his feet shackled; that he was shot in the back, multiple times; that a taser was available but not used – and so I am asking for further clarity.
Additionally, given a recent allegation by the Executive Director of CLEAT that differs from accounts by some of the witnesses in the hospital, I am asking the Sheriff’s Office to release all relevant body-camera footage from the fatal shooting within 10 days of the in-custody death. Cooperation by the Sheriff’s Office, of making available video documentation of the incident by Friday, Dec 22, would importantly enhance public trust and understanding of the context surrounding this tragic loss of life.
The Hays County Commissioner recently approved more than $6 million for public safety which includes body cameras. Buckley said he feels if the County is going to invest in this, officials should be more transparent and release body camera footage sooner.