Body camera footage has been published in connection with a deadly automobile incident on Dec. 4, in which a speeding Houston police officer drove up on the sidewalk and struck and killed a 62-year-old man.
Officer Orlando Hernandez lost control of the cruiser and hopped the curb as Michael Wayne Jackson was on his way to the barber.
Hernandez and his partner Anthony Aranda were driving to aid fellow cops who were apprehending five people involved in a carjacking, according to The Houston Chronicle. In wet conditions, the officers were speeding between 80 and 100 mph in a 40 mph zone, according to the study.
The windshield wipers were turned on, but the t bodycam film shows Hernandez driving down Reed Road with only one hand at points. Cars were stalled at the signal when Hernandez reached the intersection of Reed and Scott Street. To avoid hitting the stopped cars, the officer rotated the steering wheel nearly 180 degrees, and the cruiser drifted to the right, jumping the curb and colliding with pedestrian Jackson and a rubbish bin.
According to The Chronicle, both policemen are 25 years old and have been in the force for less than five years. After a three-day preliminary administrative leave that has already ended, they are still listed as active duty, and prosecutors have not yet submitted the case to a grand jury.
“I need HFD here,” Hernandez can be heard radioing to dispatch as patrons from a nearby restaurant are heard screaming. “I just got wrecked out, uh, Scott and Reed. One male patient is going to be knocked unconscious, not breathing, uh, bleeding from the head.”
Officers give Jackson chest compressions at the end of the video.
Janice Jackson, Jackson’s 19-year-old wife, describes the ordeal as a “nightmare,” saying he was her best friend and would do anything to make his family happy. Together, the couple has an adopted daughter.
“[He would] call me every day on his lunch break; say, ‘Hey, sunshine,’” the grieving Mrs. Jackson reminisces sweetly. “He’s going to make me laugh every day. I’d say, ‘Boy, you’re something else.’”
On the day of his death, she told a local news site, her husband was a talented mechanic who was walking to get a haircut since he was working on his automobile. She claimed she offered to drive him, but he declined and instead took the bus.
The victim’s stepdaughter, Tamica Burns, told ABC 13 that she believes HPD should be responsible for Jackson’s burial expenses. She claims that the cost of attempting to bury him has added to her mother’s sadness.
“She’s grieving. She’s stressing,” Burns said. “Now we have to come up with the h money to bury him, and it’s not fair. It’s not right.”
She established a GoFundMe campaign that raised over $4,000 before being removed. Two HPD officers, according to Burns, arrive at too their house with leaflets regarding nonprofit assistance.
Timothy Jackson, the victim’s brother, has attacked the HPD and the young officers’ training. “It looks like to me,” he said, “maybe the guys couldn’t drive that well.”
“They just weren’t ready,” he added. “Their skill level in pursuits maybe wasn’t that good because they came out of the street onto the sidewalk. They put anybody that’s on the sidewalk in danger.”
Timothy Jackson told KHOU he thinks officers need better training “because the road was wet, and was all that speed necessary?” A minute, I had a brother. Another minute he was gone,” the man said after seeing the film, which was presented to him by the news source.