By Oliver Powell
This week, Austin Police Department (APD) failed to meet their own 45-day deadline to release body camera footage of their killing of Alex Gonzales Jr., which was scheduled for release on February 19. Alex Gonzales Jr. was shot to death by APD officer Luis Serrato on January 5 after Gonzales, his wife, and two-month-old son were initially fired upon by plainclothes officer Gabriel Gutierrez. APD claims the delay is due to February’s winter storm and the ensuing power outages, and that they will release the footage by April 4, 89 days after Alex was murdered.
APD released a statement on March 3 claiming that “weather-related closures” were to blame for the delay in releasing the body camera footage. However, APD stated in another announcement that footage from a separate police shooting, an incident that took place on January 4, the day before Alex Jr.’s murder, would be released this week without delay. Last year, APD similarly delayed the release of the footage of Mike Ramos’ murder by APD officer Christopher Taylor for 94 days.
Tribune of the People reached out to Elizabeth Gonzales, Alex Jr.’s mother, for a statement regarding APD’s delayed release of the body camera footage, which she claims will prove that her son posed no threat to the officers who murdered him. “I’m outraged,” she told Tribune. “They’re not going to tell us the truth. They’re going to tell us what they want us to hear. I don’t believe the cops. Period.”
When asked if she believed APD would release the body camera footage on April 4, Elizabeth told Tribune, “No, I don’t. I honestly don’t. That’s why I need the community to help with videos, witnesses, or more.”
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