The Houston Police Department has fired a former officer who fatally shot a black man in the back during a traffic stop, in the first such shooting in the state’s history.
The incident happened in January.
Police said officers were responding to a report of a suspicious person when Officer Daniel Jackson pulled over a car that was stopped at a red light.
Jackson said the driver had been involved in a previous incident, but his statement to investigators did not detail any reason why the man did not seem to be a threat.
He said he fired the shot after Jackson “did not respond to his verbal commands to drop the gun.”
Jackson was fired in November and charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter.
The department released a statement on Monday, saying: “Officer Jackson has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of our investigation.”
In a statement released on Monday evening, the city said Jackson “acted in self-defense in the line of duty.”
In an interview with Al Jazeera, Jackson’s lawyer, Thomas Burden, said he was shocked by the shooting.
“It was a tragic, tragic situation, and I think that this is the first time that we have seen that from a Houston police officer,” Burden said.
“I think that the city is being asked to look at it in the context of the history of how this police officer has been dealing with people of color.”
Jackson, who is black, was charged with a violation of a Texas statute against using deadly force against a suspect of colour.
His attorney, James P. Smith, said the officer’s actions were justified and that the department would not be releasing a statement until an internal investigation was completed.
In a video released by the city, Jackson can be seen pulling over a vehicle that had its front bumper smashed in by the officer.
The officer can be heard telling Jackson that the driver of the car had a gun and that he had no reason to fear for his life.
Jackson responds: “Don’t pull over this car.
Don’t pull me over, that’s a joke.
Don [get out of my car], don’t pull [me over] over.”
Jackson then fired his weapon at least twice.
Smith said the shooting was unjustified and the officer had been subjected to “vicious and baseless accusations of racism and racial profiling”.
The video of the incident shows the driver’s car then ramming Jackson’s vehicle.
The video shows Jackson’s body slumped against the driver side window of the officer, with his face and head resting against the passenger side.
In the video, the officer can also be seen speaking to his colleagues.
“We need to do better, we need to get better,” the officer said.
Officers in the video can be overheard saying they “have a problem with guns”, and “if we don’t get better, there won’t be a problem”.
At the time, the Houston Police Officers Association (HOPOA) called for an independent investigation into the shooting by a civilian review board.
The Houston city council last week approved the hiring of a civilian monitor.
Smith told Al Jazeera that he expected Jackson to appeal the firing.
“There’s going to be an appeal to be made by the HOPOA, and we are hopeful that he will,” Smith said.
The police department is still investigating the incident, the HOPE Coalition, an organization representing minority and women-led organizations in Houston, said in a statement.
“The department must be held accountable for its actions, and the HPD must be transparent about what happened.
We hope the city of Houston will use the opportunity to hold the HAPD accountable for what happened in this case, and to hold those responsible accountable to account for the city’s policies that were put in place to ensure the safety of Houstonians.”
Al Jazeera’s Matt Fuller in Houston and Reuters and Reuters’ John Burnett in New York contributed to this report.