Charion Lockett Case: Body Camera Footage Released in Houston Police Shooting of 27-Year-Old Black Man

Houston police shot and killed Lockett on Feb. 7 as they were trying to serve him with a felony warrant for his arrest after an alleged aggravated robbery charge connected to a November 2021 incident.

Bodycam footage leading up to and following the shooting death of 27-year-old Charion Lockett has been released by the Houston Police.

Houston Police shot and killed Charion on Feb. 7 as they were trying to serve him with a felony warrant for his arrest after an alleged aggravated robbery charge in connection to a November 2021 incident.

"What happened next is that the police officers secured a warrant based upon new information that wasn't contained in the first warrant," Taft Foley, a lawyer for the Lockett family, told Inside Edition Digital.  

"Now, we believe that the information in that second warrant was fraudulently obtained and that it was not good enough for that judge to have issued the second warrant, because it didn't contain sufficient probable cause," Foley said.

Lockett's family says Charion was an only child, a devout churchgoer and a hard worker who held jobs while simultaneously getting his bachelor's and master's degrees. 

He was studying for the LSATS at the time of his death. 

Lockett’s family says they got a call from authorities at 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 7, about an hour before the shooting, which is when they say they first learned of the warrant.

"The warrant was based solely upon the word of an accuser who was a known criminal," Foley said. "This individual had a rap sheet as long as your arm. Now, bear in mind our client, Mr. Lockett, had never been arrested or charged with any criminal offense at all whatsoever."

They said that without warning, officers showed up at the home and fatally shot Charion.

Lockett’s family said the officers never identified themselves as they approached Lockett’s family’s home. And although there is a uniformed officer in a marked car in the body cam, many of the police were seen in unmarked vehicles with guns drawn, they said.

Houston Police say Lockett was the aggressor and shot first.

“As officers approached the residence, Mr. Lockett was sitting inside his vehicle in the driveway,” Assistant Chief Belinda Null, from the Houston Police Department, said while describing what took place. “He stepped out and began firing upon officers as he moved towards his front door.

“Four officers responded by discharging their duty weapons towards the suspect, striking him," Null continued. "Officers rendered medical aid within four minutes of the gunfire, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. No officers were injured during this incident.”

Lockett’s family has challenged Houston Police's statements, saying cops were the first to start shooting.

"I do want to say that Charion Lockett had a firearm on him," Foley said. "He was licensed to carry a firearm. I want to be careful to state once again that this is a young man with no criminal history at all, whatsoever, who was carrying a firearm in a lawful manner on his own property.

"They pulled up in a bright red unmarked car, guns blazing and Charion Lockett died as a result," Foley continued.

The bodycam video does not show Lockett firing a weapon.

When asked how things escalated, Foley said, "Well, that's a good question. And that's a question that we're asking of the police department.

"One of our problems is that individuals in the Black community are not often given the benefit of the doubt," he said. "If this warrant was served on an individual in an affluent white community, let's say Bellaire or River Oaks in Houston, Texas, the police would have at least done their due diligence and attempted to interview this individual."

Police bodycam released by authorities shows the moments when they approached the home Lockett was in, when they started firing, and when they pulled him out of the house. At that point, he appeared unconscious and unresponsive.

There are a few moments in the video where audio seems to be redacted.

The Houston Police Department told Inside Edition Digital that audio is usually redacted if someone's name is mentioned who is not a part of the investigation or if a witness is named.

It is unclear if that was the case in this situation. 

The department also says the footage released is the full, unedited version of the bodycam video, except for the audio redactions of the incident that took place within that timeframe. 

Foley disagreed, saying, "They put together carefully orchestrated clips of what happened that day. If you want the truth, then you would put out at least a version of events that happen in chronological order.

"The way the videos are carefully placed together appears as though shots are fired, and police respond to those shots fired. The video doesn't show Charion Lockett firing a single shot," Foley said. "What it does show is an unmarked car pull up, stick the gun out the window, and then shots are fired. At this point, we don't have enough evidence to be able to accurately discern who shot first."

Foley noted that they are looking to find out if any officers involved have any history of disciplinary actions taken against them. "We've requested the disciplinary records of these officers," he said. "We're waiting for that information to arrive at our office."

Lockett’s family says they plan on filing a federal lawsuit against the officers involved.

The Houston Police Department told Inside Edition Digital that they do not comment on pending litigation.

“The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident related to the officer-involved shooting of Charion Lockett," The Harris County Sheriff’s office said in a statement. "When our investigation is completed, it will be turned over to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office for them to review.

"Prosecutors will present to a Grand Jury for review and charges if applicable," the statement continued. "The body worn camera release is solely done through the Houston Police Department. As is our policy in all officer-involved shootings, our civil rights prosecutors will conduct an independent review of all the evidence and present that evidence to a grand jury to determine if criminal charges are warranted.”

When reached by Inside Edition Digital, the office of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, which oversees the Houston Police Department, said it had no additional information. 

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