On a cold November morning in 2018, a Texas police officer and his partner were working at the home of a man with a history of domestic violence, when they saw a man wearing a white mask.
The officers had been watching him, they said, and noticed that the man appeared to be holding a handgun.
As the officers approached the man, the man began running, and the officers pursued him, and they fired multiple shots, killing him.
A week later, the officer’s partner received a call from a neighbor who said she’d seen a man matching the description of the suspect on the street.
The police officer was the only person on the scene.
“That was the first time I’d ever heard of white supremacist ideology, and that was the last time I ever heard about white supremacists,” says Officer Michael Gorman, who works for the Houston Police Department.
“I don’t think it was ever a problem until I got here.
I was the sole police officer that was involved in that incident.”
The officer who shot the suspect was not charged in the killing, but he was fired after a police internal investigation found he used excessive force, according to an account from Houston police Sgt. Chris DeCarlo.
Gorman’s partner, Officer Brian Stearns, is still a member of the department, and he says he still gets calls from people who’ve heard about the shooting.
“We don’t talk about it, we don’t take it seriously,” he says.
“It’s not something that is talked about, and I think it is something that’s kind of taboo to talk about.
But it’s something that has happened to me on more than one occasion.”
In an article published last year in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers at the University of South Florida found that police officers were more likely to fire their weapons in a situation where they believed someone else was armed.
According to the study, a man had been seen armed with a shotgun at a gas station, and officers confronted him.
When the officers confronted the man with his shotgun, he ran away.
When they confronted the shotgun-wielding man, he fled.
When officers confronted a man armed with pepper spray, the officers fired a shot at the man’s legs, causing him to fall to the ground, according a report from the police department.
The study concluded that officers who fired shots at armed men were more than four times as likely to kill them.
Gannon says the incident, as a case of mistaken identity, shows that police departments need to take more aggressive steps to prevent these types of incidents.
“These are all things that can be addressed if we’re going to be proactive and take proactive steps to address these types,” Gannon told VICE News.
This is not a one-off, and we’ve seen this happen in the past, and this is not going to change.”