The loved ones of Roderick Brooks have waited one year and counting for the Texas sheriff’s deputy who fatally shot Brooks to be brought to justice.
It was on July 8, 2022, when Brooks was fatally shot by Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Garrett Hardin, a 20-year law enforcement veteran. Hardin responded to a shoplifting call at a Dollar General in Houston that evening where Brooks had stolen some items.
When Hardin arrived at the scene, he spotted Brooks and began to chase him on foot. After closing in on Brooks, he stunned him with a Taser and pinned him to the ground. Then, according to police reports, Brooks reportedly grabbed Hardin’s Taser, so Hardin shot him in the back of the neck.
Hardin was subsequently placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting.
Multiple witnesses came forward with different accounts of the events leading up to the shooting, some even with videos showing Hardin and Brooks on the ground. Some witnesses said Brooks was shot “in cold blood.” Others saw Hardin punch Brooks several times before shooting him.
Brooks’ family held a candlelight vigil to mark the one-year anniversary of his death on July 8, 2023.
“One year, no answers. No answers. We want the truth,” Brooks’ sister, Demetria Brooks-Glaze, told Fox 26 Houston. “We got the ending, we just want to know how did it come to this. This killing is unjust, and it’s gonna get proven.”
The family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Hardin weeks after Brooks was shot claiming that his death was completely preventable had Hardin been disciplined for an incident just one week prior to the shooting. That’s when Hardin used a Taser on a man who was under the influence, causing the man to fall off an overpass and suffer critical injuries. Hardin faced no disciplinary action for stunning the man and was kept on duty.
He has yet to be criminally charged for Brooks’ death, but prosecutors did review his case and sent it to a grand jury for review. It’s unclear when the jury’s findings will be released.
“We’re glad that finally, the case will be going to the grand jury,” family attorney Sadiyah Karriem said. “We know that it’s been over a year, but there’s been some hiccups.”