Recent weeks have been a series of heartbreaks as awareness grows around the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. Unfortunately, another name has been added to the list of those violently taken from us.
In the early hours of Friday morning, Adrian Medearis was shot and killed in an alleged altercation with a police officer. Medearis was 48 years old and the choir director at the Evangelist Temple Church of God in Christ in Houston. According to NBC News, the family of Medearis wants a video of the altercation to be publicly released.
From NBC News:
“We are beyond shocked at the initial accounts of this tragedy,” Medearis’ family 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, called for releasing the video. “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.”
According to a statement released by the Houston Police Department, Officer J. Ramos pulled Medearis over for speeding. He conducted a field sobriety test and then attempted to arrest Medearis on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Medearis allegedly resisted and in the struggle knocked off Ramos’ body camera. Ramos reportedly had Medearis pinned to the ground. When he called for backup, Medearis allegedly rolled over and attempted to grab Ramos’s taser and that’s when Ramos fired four shots, two of them striking Medearis.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said that he would not release the video to the public before showing it to the family in private.“What’s sad about this is that by all accounts what occurred is conduct that is not consistent with who Mr. Medearis is,” Acevedo said. No other officers were involved in the shooting and there are no known witnesses.
Medearis was well known and a beloved member in his community. He formed the gospel group Standing in the Gap several years ago.