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Video released of mentally ill man being murdered by police

The family of a man who was brutally murdered in his Fort Bend home has released a video of the last few moments of his life before he died in a hail of gunfire.

Photo of the deceased, Michael Blair
Houston Chronicle

Fort Bend County Sheriffs were called to the home of Michael Blair after his family had called 911 because he appeared to be suicidal. When deputies arrived Blair had himself locked in a bathroom holding a knife, and in the last few second of the video he’s seen stumbling out of the bathroom after being tased several times then the deputy opens fire on him and kills him.

The deputy yelled for Blair to stop, then appears to fires at least a dozen shots into the disoriented man. Blair died on the scene as his family screams out in anguish at what they had just witnessed.

When the video was released on Wednesday, community activist Quanell X called the shooting “nothing less than a cold-blooded execution.”

Blair’s family said they only called 911 after several hospitals told them that it was the proper course of action in that particular situation. Deputies then responded to the 7000 block of Dawn Bloom on November 4 and found Blair had locked himself in the bathroom and was threatening to kill himself.
Blair's family gave the video to the Houston media and said they intended to hand over a copy to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Standing outside of the U.S. Attorney’s office in Houston, Quanell X said "All this family wanted was somebody to help. This young man did not have to die.”

The video shows two officers standing outside the door of the bathroom with the door closed.

"If you don't open this door, we're going to kick it in," the deputy said.

"We want to do this the easy way. Don't make us do it the hard way."

After several attempts jiggling the knob, the door opens slightly, allowing the deputy to see inside the bathroom.

"He's got a knife. He's got a knife," the deputy yells, as the doors shuts again.

He kicked open the door and shouted at Blair to "Stay down. Stay down."

He told the other officer to use the Taser and continued ordering Blair to drop the knife.

The video shows the deputy trying to coax Blair to disarm himself, telling him he didn't want to shoot him.

"We're trying to help you. Let it (the knife) go. Do it now," the deputy said.

The confrontation lasted about 20 minutes according to reports.

Blair’s family gave the video to the Houston media and said they had all intentions on giving a copy to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The video was never given to investigators at the time of the incident so it was never shown to the grand jury that declined to issue an indictment in the case.

Fort Bend Sheriffs said that they could not comment on a video that they’ve never watched.

"We consider it evidence and it needs to be turned over to the proper authorities," said sheriff's spokesman Bob Haenel.

Blair’s mother, Kimberly Blair-Olaniyi , still distraught over his death said "All we're asking is that someone recognize what we recognize - that was brutality.”

"We forgave that officer," she said. "We want him to live a long life so he will always remember my son and how he murdered him in that bathroom."

Quanell X said that the family had intentionally waited to release the video until the local investigations were concluded. He also said that the family is demanding a civil rights investigation and that a lawsuit is likely to come.

"These cases are always lies and truths are not told," he said. "We have a tape to expose those lying hypocrites."

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