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The Austin Police Department released body-camera footage of the Jan. 5 police killing of Alex Gonzales to the public on Wednesday morning, after first releasing it to Gonzales' family members on Tuesday.
Gonzales, 27, was shot by APD officers in two separate incidents, leading to his death. Off-duty officer Gabriel Gutierrez was driving his personal car, from which he shot Gonzales after he said Gonzales cut him off "in a road rage incident" and then pointed a gun at him, according to the 911 call transcript. Gonzales was driving with his girlfriend and their infant child.
Gutierrez then called for police backup. APD officer Luis Serrato responded. In the bodycam footage, he can be heard yelling at Gonzales, who by then was standing near the passenger side door of his car, to put his hands up and not reach into the car. When Gonzales appeared to reach inside the vehicle, which his family and attorneys have said he did to check on his child, officers fired multiple shots—nearly a dozen, according to the footage—at him. Two anguished screams follow.
Gonzales was pronounced dead on the scene. His girlfriend was shot multiple times but survived after being treated at a nearby hospital, according to APD. Their infant child was unharmed. APD found a gun on the driver's side floorboard of Gonzales' car.
APD is supposed to release video footage of police shootings within 60 days, according to a department policy enacted last year. It's been nearly four months since Gonzales' death. APD released a statement on April 2, four days before the 60-day deadline, saying that former chief Brian Manley had determined a delay was needed "to address investigative and prosecutorial interests."
Family representative Bertha Delgado addressed the video footage at a press conference on Tuesday, filling in for Gonzales' mother, who was too overcome to speak.
Delgado called the delayed release unacceptable and asked for the arrest and indictment of the officers who shot and killed Gonzales. She also spoke about the impact of the killing on District 3, where she lives and where Gonzales' death occurred less than a year after the police killing of Mike Ramos less than a mile away. "My community is not just irate," she said. "They are in fear of the fact that our Austin PD continues to kill our children, Brown and Black."
Gonzales' parents are represented by the Hendler Flores Law Firm, which is also representing Ramos' mother in a civil suit against the city of Austin and APD, which alleges her son's death was "a direct result of the racism that has permeated policing in Austin." The officer who killed Ramos was charged with first-degree murder last month.
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A week after Texas added two congressional seats and California lost one, state officials reported a population decline in 2020 for the first time in the Golden State's history.
California fell by over 182,000 people from January 2020 to January 2021, dropping almost 0.5% to cap out at around 39.5 million people. It is still the nation's most populous state.
For over thirty years, California has seen more people leave than move in from other states, state officials said, with 6.1 million people moving out and 4.9 million coming in last year. Immigration and births kept California growing, but the state saw a shrink in international migration in 2020 due to COVID and the White House's hold on visas.
Of the steady flow of ex-Californians moving to other states, more are moving to Texas than any other state. Many are relocating to Austin, which has been labeled a "little California" by billionaire resident Elon Musk and continues to grow astronomically.
Meanwhile, California cities including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco saw a population decline.
With immigration and state migration on the decline, the Golden State was also hit with a spike in deaths- 51,000 people died from COVID in 2020, and all but seven of the state's counties saw death rates higher than the three-year average.
Still, the California Department of Finance said a "slightly positive annual growth" can be expected next year as the state recovers from COVID deaths and political repercussions.
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