“Disturbing” Body-Cam Footage Confirms ER Patient Killed by Deputy Was in Leg Irons, Lawsuit Claims

Hays County Sheriff vehicles sit outside the San Marcos jail (photo by Jana Birchum)

Joshua Wright’s family and supporters have been demanding the release of the body-camera footage of his shooting for seven months.

The public still has not seen the video. But now that Wright’s mother, Beverly, is suing the man who killed her son, Hays County has released it to her and her attorneys, including Jeff Edwards.

“It is among the most disturbing I have seen,” Edwards told the Chronicle; as the attorney who represented many Austinites hurt during the Black Lives Matter protests of May 2020, he has experience reviewing disturbing body-cam video. “The video depicts a young man in a hospital hallway being gunned down numerous times by a law enforcement officer – all while he is unarmed, defenseless, and in leg irons.”

That, essentially, is what San Marcos advocates suspected after the Hays County Sheriff announced Wright’s killing on Dec. 12 of last year. The rumors were so widespread that within hours County Judge Ruben Becerra was calling for the release of the body-cam video. A month later, Beverly Wright was joined by nationally renowned civil rights attorney Ben Crump (who represented George Floyd’s family) in demanding the video’s release.

At that point, the man who shot Wright – Isaiah Garcia – was still employed as a correctional officer at the Hays County Jail. Garcia was indicted by Hays County D.A. Kelly Higgins for deadly conduct in April however and lost his job shortly thereafter.

The lawsuit against Garcia goes into considerable detail about how he killed Wright. According to the complaint, Wright ran from the officer after using the restroom when his handcuffs had been removed but not his leg shackles. Instead of chasing Wright down and using his Taser to subdue him, Garcia shot twice at him. After bullets tore through his arms, Wright struggled to his feet and Garcia shot him again, this time through his chest, breaking two of his ribs. But Wright got to his feet once more.

“Wright was not in any position to escape from the hospital as he was in a hospital hallway with no exit in his immediate vicinity to use,” the lawsuit reads. “In fact, Garcia could have really caught up to him and restrained him. … Yet, rather than physically restraining the bleeding, downed, and unsteady Wright or use his TASER to do so, Garcia fired his gun twice in quick succession into Wright’s back.”

Beverly Wright released a statement through her attorneys in announcing the lawsuit. “As a Black mother, I prayed my family would never be in the position we find ourselves in today,” Wright said. “The killing of Black men like my son by law enforcement remains all too common. It is past time for these officers to be held responsible.”

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