Police: Fatal shooting of naked teen in Texas unfolded in 'matter of seconds'

Naked Teenager Shot and Killed by APD Officer Identified, Was Unarmed

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb 9 (Reuters) - The Austin police officer who fatally shot a naked and unarmed Texas teenager had confronted the suspect for a few seconds before opening fire, police said on Tuesday.

Officer Geoffrey Freeman told 17-year-old David Joseph to halt but the African-American teen charged toward the officer, who then opened fire in the Monday incident, Brian Manley, Austin police chief of staff, told a news conference.

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Manley did not say how many times Freeman fired or how far apart the two were at the time of the shooting. Police did not release the video of the shooting.

"What is captured on the in-car camera when Officer Freeman gives his initial commands to Mr. Joseph and the time in which Mr. Joseph charges towards Officer Freeman was a matter of seconds. It was not a very long duration," he said.

Freeman, who has worked as an Austin police officer for 10 years, has been placed on administrative leave, Manley said. Manley did not give Freeman's race but the Austin American-Statesman newspaper said Freeman is black.

Austin police said they had received multiple phone calls of the suspect acting suspiciously and aggressively before they dispatched officers.

Reuters was not able to locate Joseph's family.

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Police: Fatal shooting of naked teen in Texas unfolded in 'matter of seconds'
People march in protest to the fatal police shooting of Charleena Lyles, in Seattle, Washington on June 22, 2017. Police in Washington were under scrutiny after a pregnant woman was fatally shot by officers responding to a burglary call. Authorities said the 30-year-old victim, identified as Charleena Lyles, had called to report an attempted burglary at her apartment on the morning of June 18 and pulled a knife on the two officers, who shot and killed her. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Redmond (Photo credit should read JASON REDMOND/AFP/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 20: Chalk artwork is written on the ground at a memorial for Charleena Lyles at the apartment building in which she was killed on June 20, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. Officers from the Seattle Police Department shot and killed Lyles, a pregnant mother of four, on June 18. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
The car of Philando Castile is seen surrounded by police vehicles in an evidence photo taken after he was fatally shot by St. Anthony Police Department officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop in July 2016. Picture released June 20, 2017. Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. THIS PICTURE WAS PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO ENHANCE QUALITY. AN UNPROCESSED VERSION WILL BE PROVIDED SEPARATELY.
People hold signs in protest after a jury found St. Anthony Police Department officer Jeronimo Yanez not guilty of second-degree manslaughter in the death of Philando Castile yesterday, in Manhattan, New York, U.S., June 17, 2017. REUTERS/Bria Webb
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People take part in a protest against the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile during a march in New York July 7, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: Demonstrators march through the streets protesting the Staten Island, New York grand jury's decision not to indict a police officer involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner in July on December 6, 2014 in New York City. Protests are being staged nationwide after grand juries investigating the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York failed to indict the police officers involved in both incidents. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
A protest sign showing and image of Ezell Ford as members of the 'Black Lives Matter' alliance stage protest outside the Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's home as they try to force him to fire LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck, in Los Angeles, California on June 7, 2015. The alliance have renewed protests after a recent report from an LAPD watchdog determined that the August 11, 2014 officer-involved shooting death of 25-year-old Ezell Ford in South Central was justified. AFP PHOTO/ MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Portland, United States - May 19: Protesters hold a banner during a demonstration for freedom and equality against police brutality and racism at the Portland Police Bureau's North Precinct in Portland, Ore., United States, on May 19, 2017, on what would have been Malcolm X's 92nd birthday. (Photo by Alex Milan Tracy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Portland, United States - May 19: Protesters hold signs during a demonstration for freedom and equality against police brutality and racism at the Portland Police Bureau's North Precinct in Portland, Ore., United States, on May 19, 2017, on what would have been Malcolm X's 92nd birthday. (Photo by Alex Milan Tracy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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A criminal probe has been launched as well as an internal police probe, he said adding it may take about 30 to 45 days for tests to see if there were any drugs in Joseph's system.

The Austin killing comes as protesters in San Antonio are questioning if race was at play in the fatal shooting by police in the city to the southwest of the Texas capital last week of an unarmed black man.

"Two Texas officer-involved fatal shootings of unarmed black men within days is beyond tragic, because we have the answers to avoid these senseless deaths," said Terri Burke, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.

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