Adrian Medearis, the choir director at the Evangelist Temple Church of God in Christ at Houston, was allegedly shot and killed by the police during an altercation. He was shot last Friday and his family is pressing the police to release the video of the incident.
“We are beyond shocked at the initial accounts of this tragedy,” the family of the 48-year-old said in a statement posted by his brother, Audrick. “Unfortunately, there are no public details available regarding the murder of our loved one.”
Dav Lewis, a longtime friend of Medearis, supports the family’s position. “Everybody – and especially his family – deserve to know what happened that night, they need to see what happened to their loved one,” he said. “We must hold the police accountable and we’re not going to just sit back and take the police word on this”, NBC News reported.
According to Reuters, Medearis was shot to death by officer J. Ramos after an alleged scuffle with the officer, who had stopped him for over-speeding. After a sobriety test was conducted, the officer then tried to arrest Medearis for driving under the influence.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said Monday that his outfit will not release the video publicly until the family views the altercation in private first.
“Transparency is key, we are willing to release everything once we get through the process but we have a responsibility to the family,” he said at a press conference, according to the Houston Press.
“Our officer did respond based on the violent resistance of Mr. Medearis gaining control of his taser,” said Acevedo, according to the Houston Press.
“What is sad about what occurred this night is that the conduct of Mr. Medearis was not consistent with the man that people knew, the different churches he performed in. The way that his life ended in a violent struggle with law enforcement certainly doesn’t define his entire life.”
His family and friends are taken aback by the narration of his last days on earth. They say the police’s narration is the opposite of the man they knew and are still wondering why the police has still not released the video to them.
“We are heartbroken to confirm the death of our beloved Adrian Medearis,” his family said in a statement. “We are beyond shocked at the initial accounts of this tragedy. Unfortunately, there are no public details available regarding the murder of our loved one. We respectfully ask for our privacy, and your patience, during this time of bereavement.”