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Family of Charles Roundtree Jr., Black Teen Killed by San Antonio Officer, Calls for Indictment 

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The family of Charles “Chop” Roundtree Jr., who was fatally shot in October, held a news conference Wednesday calling for SAPD Officer Steve Casanova to be terminated and indicted for murder. Since the shooting, the officer has been on administrative duty.

Recently released bodycam footage of the shooting showed Casanova approach a home on the city’s West Side on October 17 while responding to an assault call. Roundtree and two other friends, Taylor Singleton and Davante Snowden, were hanging out inside the home's living room. The footage explicitly shows Casanova failing to announce himself as an officer after opening the door, instead greeting the trio with, “What’s up, man?”

According to Singleton, none of them were able to identify Casanova as an officer. When Snowden got up off of the couch to confront him, Casanova said he saw a gun and yelled, “Hey, let me see your fucking hands!” before firing two shots into the home. One of those bullets struck Roundtree in the chest, killing him. He had just become father to an infant son, whose relatives own the home where the shooting took place.

Days after the shooting, Roundtree’s biological mother Patricia Slack, and his adoptive mother, Bernice Roundtree, filed a lawsuit against the officer and the City of San Antonio. Both Singleton and Snowden joined in the suit as well. The lawsuit states Casanova, a five year veteran of the force, entered the home without warning or identifying himself as law enforcement, and used excessive force culminating in Roundtree's death.

During the press conference, the family’s attorney, Daryl K. Washington, stated, “The chief of police, William McManus, is protecting a system of abuse. These officers have a policy – they shoot first and ask questions later.” He also argued Casanova should be charged with aggravated assault by a public servant for shooting Snowden.

Bernice Roundtree also spoke on her son's untimely death. “He was there just waiting for his friend when he was shot and killed by a coward hiding behind a badge.”

District Attorney Joe Gonzales, as well as spokespersons for SAPD and Mayor Ron Nirenberg’s office, declined to comment due to the pending lawsuit.

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