Austin cops said they shot Lawrence Parrish because he fired on them—but it turns out he didn’t fire a shot. https://t.co/VJt7XhAw3r— The Appeal (@theappeal) July 20, 2018
This week he got one charge dropped, & pleas out on two others. His case "exposes that our system has a long ways to go." https://t.co/AJJfExWCOc
In April 2017, Lawrence Parrish was wrongfully accused of firing at the Austin police.
It all started when Parrish’s roommate in Texas called 911 reporting that the African-American man was sitting with a gun in the street. She also said that Parrish was acting weird assuming he might be on drugs.
When the police arrived at the location, Parrish who was then 31-years-old had gone back inside his home. Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said the officers asked him to come out, but when he didn’t they called a SWAT team.
The officers then shot Parrish at least seven times after he got out of his home. They claimed at that time that the man had a .40-caliber Hi-Point rifle. According to an officer standing near to Parrish's apartment at 6321 Parliament drive, he had to fire at Parrish twice because he saw him "raise the rifle towards his direction."
Officer Marcos Johnson was the first one to start firing shots at Parrish.
The officer also claimed he ducked down and heard more gunshots. According to Parrish’s brother, Cluren Williams, four officers shot Parrish over nine times. He had to be rushed to a nearby hospital, and two of his fingers had to be amputated.
While he was recovering from his injuries, he was booked into the Travis County Correctional Complex. He was charged for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against a public servant. The man was held on a bond of $500,000.
According to the family, they were not even allowed to see Parrish while he was in the hospital. “They won’t give us any access, we’re not getting any logical explanation, we’re not getting any good reasoning why the mother can’t even see him. It’s just ridiculous,” said Williams.
Several days after firing at the black man, Manley admitted that Parrish did not have a rifle at that time. "We now believe, based on where we are at in the investigation, that he did not fire, even though our officers that night at the scene believed that he had, in fact, had fired the weapon," he said.
But despite the police officer’s admission of Parrish not having a gun, his bond was not reduced. William explained his brother’s bond reduction was rejected three times and the charges against him were not dropped.
However, Manley maintains the charges are appropriate because Parrish brandished a weapon in a threatening way.
Parrish will now be released, in a few weeks, after spending 15 months in jail for a crime he did not even commit.
Parrish's attorney, Chris Tolbert, said the state dropped charges of aggravated assault against a public servant just weeks before his client was set to go to trial. According to the attorney, these charges were dropped because his client never fired or pointed any weapon at the officers that night.
The police did not specify if Johnson who was the first officer to start shooting at Parrish would face any disciplinary action.
The manner in which Parrish was treated only goes to show how much needs to be done to reduce the police brutality conducted by enabled officers on a usual basis. In 2017, police killed 1,129 people, of which 27 percent were African Americans.
People on social media had a lot to say about the way Parrish was treated after being wrongfully accused of a crime.
Austin cops attempted to murder Lawrence Parrish and then tried to pin capital murder charges on him.— Antonio Buehler (@AntonioBuehler) July 20, 2018
Even though APD admitted he never fired or pointed a weapon at him, APD still tried to let him bleed out... https://t.co/Km1vS8ChfW
So what's going to happen to those killer cops?! They lied! Is amerikkka going to hold these racist killer cops accountable?! Nope?— ChiTown?Lioness? (@Blk_Cat713) July 20, 2018
As stated in my book, Black Skin = Threat. Cops are trained to Neutralize the Threat! That goes to show just how terrified we make the dominant society. They heard shots that didn't exist. #FridayFeeling— KonstantKwest (@KonstantKwest) July 20, 2018
Lawrence Parrish finally got his agg. assault against a public service charge dismissed today, and agreed to plea out on two other charges. He's out of jail in a few weeks https://t.co/jxO0WJ0cKM via @austinchronicle— Chase Hoffberger (@hoffberger) July 18, 2018
Austin cops attempted to murder Lawrence Parrish and then tried to pin capital murder charges on him.— Peaceful Streets (@PeacefulStreets) July 19, 2018
Even though APD admitted he never fired or pointed a weapon at him,... https://t.co/7RiM9YmFn3
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