Family has confirmed with The Battalion that the protester injured by the Austin Police Department is 20-year-old Justin Howell, an undergraduate student at Texas State University
“He has a fractured skull. He has brain damage. Doctors anticipate that when he wakes up, he will have difficulty telling his left from his right,” his brother said.
It happened outside of the police headquarters at 8th Street and I-35 during the protests over George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis by a police officer.
The protesters in the video are carrying 20-year-old Justin Howell. His brother, Joshua, said he’s a political science major at Texas State University and was shot in the head by an APD officer’s “less lethal” round.
“Justin is still in critical condition, unfortunately,” said Joshua Howell
A 20-year-old black protester was critically injured May 31 when an officer shot him with “less-lethal” ammunition during a weekend of protests, according to Austin Police Chief Brian Manley.
Justin Howell is a graduate of Communication Arts High School in San Antonio and is currently an undergraduate student at Texas State University where he is pursuing a degree in Political Science.
In a June 1 media briefing, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said police video shows Justin standing near Austin police headquarters around 11 p.m. when another man throws a water bottle and a backpack at officers guarding the building.
“Within a moment’s notice after that, one of the officers fired their less-lethal munition at that individual apparently, but it struck Justin Howell]instead. Justin Howell then fell to the ground and it appears as though he hit his head when he fell to the ground as well,” Manley said.
Manley said after Justin Howell was shot, a group of people realized the severity of his injuries, spoke with officers about getting medical attention and were then instructed to bring him to officers at police headquarters. According to The Texas Tribune, video shows multiple people carrying Justin Howell toward officers on the steps of police headquarters and then being shot at as well. Manley said this incident is under review.
“Justin Howell was brought through police headquarters and loaded on an ambulance and transported to a local hospital,” Manley said. “We immediately began a level one investigation into this incident last night, sending investigators to the hospital and again this investigation remains ongoing.”
Manley has asked the public to provide video from the incident to help with the internal police investigation.
Chief Manley says that the department immediately began a “level one” investigation, sending investigators to the hospital. The investigation is ongoing. A level one investigation is defined as the highest level investigation into the use of force that resulted in serious injuries. This is the same level of investigation used in officer-involved shootings.
“We are praying for this young man and his family and hoping that his condition improves quickly,” Manley said.
APD has not yet identified the officer who fired the less-lethal round.
Justin Howell currently remains in critical condition at an Austin hospital.
News Ref: https://www.kxan.com/news/everything-we-know-about-the-20-year-old-man-critically-hurt-in-austin-protests/