Sgt. Garrett Hardin, a deputy in Harris County, fatally shot Roderick Brooks last year.
A grand jury on Thursday charged Garrett Hardin, a deputy in Harris County, Texas, with first-degree murder after last year’s fatal shooting of Roderick Brooks, a Black man.
On July 8, 2022, Hardin responded to a 911 call from a Dollar General employee in Houston who was reporting a shoplifter. The employee said the shoplifter had hit her as he left the store but she did not believe he had a weapon.
Hardin arrived at the scene and chased Brooks, 47. Body-camera footage of the incident shows Hardin hitting Brooks with his stun gun, bringing him to the ground. The video then shows Hardin pinning Brooks to the ground and the two men scuffling for a moment until Hardin fires a shot near Brooks’ neck.
Hardin was placed on administrative duty pending the case going before a grand jury, the sheriff’s office said in a statement. Following the indictment, the office said, he “will be relieved of duty” and faces potential disciplinary action.
“After waiting over a year for this case to go to a grand jury, the family is relieved that the journey for justice on behalf of Roderick Brooks has begun,” an attorney for Brooks’ family said in a statement after the indictment. “They are looking forward to the prosecution of this rogue cop who used his badge and gun under the color of law to murder Roderick Brooks.”
“This is not his first time, but the family prays it will be his last time using his position to exact injustice and the taking of life on anyone else,” the attorney said.
Hardin, who has served with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office for 20 years, had a history of suspensions, HuffPost reported last year.
He had been suspended without pay eight times since 2004 for infractions that included crashing his patrol car into another vehicle, giving false statements to his supervisors, and making lewd and sexual remarks to officers working under him.
Brooks’ family filed a wrongful death lawsuit last September, citing Hardin’s history of issues in the department. The lawsuit is ongoing.