APD Releases Name of Officer Involved in Shooting

David Joseph died in hospital after being shot by cop

APD Releases Name of Officer Involved in Shooting

Geoffrey Freeman is the APD officer who shot and killed a teenager in Northeast Austin yesterday.

He is a 10-year veteran at APD, having graduated into Civil Service in July, 2005. He has worked daytime street patrol with the Edward 100s unit in Northeast Austin since 2013. Freeman has been placed on paid administrative duty, as is standard procedure for any officer-involved shootings within the state.

Freeman is responsible for the death of David Joseph, a 17-year-old black teenager – reports yesterday mistakenly indicated that he was 18. His family was notified just before today’s 12:30pm press conference of his death.

Freeman is also black.

Joseph was the subject of a disturbance call at 9:57am on Monday concerning a black male who was chasing another individual through an apartment complex on Yager Lane. Freeman was the responding officer. When he got to the neighborhood, he could not find any potential suspect. He cleared the call but stayed in the neighborhood, eventually locating Joseph shortly after 10:30am.

Joseph was naked when Freeman found him on the 12000 block of Nature’s Bend, and was not in possession of any weapon. In a verbal statement issued shortly after the shooting, Freeman said that he provided Joseph with an initial set of commands, but that Joseph did not respond to them. Instead, Freeman said, Joseph charged at the responding officer, who fired his handgun. Tuesday at the press conference, APD Asst. Chief Brian Manley declined to speculate as to why Freeman did not deploy his Taser.

Manley reiterated Monday’s detail that in-car dashboard cameras failed to capture video of the shooting, but indicated that audio of the interaction got picked up (in addition to certain portions of the interaction prior to the shooting). Manley said that what was captured via the camera, from the moment Freeman began issuing commands to the time Joseph allegedly charged forward, “was a matter of seconds.” Manley could not confirm how many times Freeman shot his gun at Joseph.

In addition to the initial verbal statement issued on-scene, Freeman will also provide a more formal statement this week via an interview with Internal Affairs, Manley said. Internal Affairs will conduct an investigation to determine whether Freeman’s actions were in according with APD policies, and the department’s Special Investigations Unit will also look into the incident to determine whether Freeman broke the law. The District Attorney’s office will also present the case to a grand jury in Travis County. There is no timetable for any of the three investigations.

Manley declined to comment on Joseph’s criminal background and mental fortitude, telling network reporters who inquired: “Today is not [the day] to talk about the past of this young man.”

The Chronicle has submitted a request to APD’s Public Information Office that seeks Freeman’s disciplinary record and will update this story when that information is delivered.

This post has been updated with an accurate spelling of Yager Lane.

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