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Above, Pastor Wayne Miller, grandfather of Malachi spoke to the crowd about his grandson surrounded by family. Also pictured is Joshua Wright's Mother, Beverly Wright — Wright was shot and killed by a Hays County Correctional Officer last year, Williams' Mother, Shanta Miller, and his sister, Miriam Williams. Below, Shanta Miller, Williams' Mother, hugs another family member before the vigil.
Daily Record photos by Shannon West

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People lit candles in William's honor and watched a slideshow about his life at the San Marcos Public Library, a place he liked to frequent.
Daily Record photos by Shannon West

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Shanta Miller wanted the crowd to know that Malachai, or 'Kai' as he was called by family, was loved and will not be forgotten.
Daily Record photos by Shannon West


Vigil mourns Malachi Williams, calls into question SMPD ability to release body worn camera footage
Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Vigil mourns Malachi Williams, calls into question SMPD ability to release body worn camera footage

Nothing brings the community together like the loss of one of its members. This was apparent with the outpouring of support during the vigil for Malachi Williams — the man involved in a San Marcos Police foot chase that ended in a gunshot, which took his life, on April 11. Investigations into the shooting are still ongoing.

“He was a nerd for real real, and I love nerds. And I love that one. He had some mental disabilities, but he still was so bright and so smart,” said Shanta Miller, mother of Malachi Williams. “My son, he stood up for justice for other people. Before he decided to live, a more hippie- style life. He did help the homeless. He stood up for justice. He stood up for black lives. He stood up for everybody’s life really.”

The vigil was held by the family of Williams and Mano Amiga, a local activist group, and they are calling for more transparency from the San Marcos Police Department.

In a statement released April 22, San Marcos Police Chief Stan Standridge cited Texas Government Code 552 as the reason that SMPD will not yet be releasing the body worn camera footage of the incident. Floyd Miller, Williams’ great uncle, spoke at the vigil and disputed Standridge's claims that this code could be used to withhold the footage.

“The one who states his case first seems right until the other comes and examines him. Proverbs 18:17,” Miller said. “I decided to read Texas Code 552. … and Code 552-1085 Confidential of Sensitive Information related to Sensitive Crime Scene Images. It does give next of kin the ability to view this information. If you’re thinking it can not be released to the public, it certainly can be released to the family.”

On Monday, the city of San Marcos said that they would be working with the family to allow them to see the video.

'The San Marcos Police Department is working with the District Attorney's office to schedule a time that works best for the family to view the video,' said Khameyah Taylor, Public Safety Communications Specialist for the city of San Marcos.

Under Texas Government Code Sec. 552.108. Exception: Certain Law Enforcement, Corrections and Prosecutorial Information, “(d) Notwithstanding other law, a prosecutor may permit a person to view the following evidence of a crime that resulted in the death of a person and that occurred in the prosecutor's jurisdiction: (1) a medical examiner's report, if the person viewing the report is a family member of the person who is the subject of the report and the person who is the subject of the report was a victim of the crime; and (2) video evidence of the crime, if the person viewing the video is a victim of the crime or a family member of a victim of the crime.”

Under Texas Government Code Sec. 552.1085. Confidentiality of Sensitive Crime Scene Image, “(1) Deceased person's next of kin' means: (A) the surviving spouse of the deceased person; (B) if there is no surviving spouse of the deceased, an adult child of the deceased person; or (C) if there is no surviving spouse or adult child of the deceased, a parent of the deceased person.”

Sam Benavides, Mano Amiga communications director, discussed a similar case.

“I remember during the use of force committee meetings, the killing of Rescue Eram happened. The [San Marcos] police [department] reported that he was running towards them with a knifelike object,” Benavides said. “Community advocates submitted open records requests and found that that was a screwdriver. The police released that statement saying that it was a knife-like object already having known it was a screwdriver.”

Standridge said in his statement that the bodyworn camera footage could not be released because “this footage is considered evidence in a pending investigation.” Miller cited a KXAN story that was published April 19.

“It said ‘On Friday Austin Police Department released the body worn camera footage of officers involved in a shooting April 6 in Southwest Austin,’” Miller read. “‘No charges are pending though APD said the case remained under investigation. … Per Austin Police Department Policy, videos related to shooting involving officers must be released within 10 business days of the incident.’” Miller said Bexar County Sheriff’s Office also has a ten day policy for release of body-worn camera footage for an officer involved shooting. This is confirmed by a Texas Public Radio article published on Dec. 9, 2021.

According to a report on — Overview of Bexar County Body Worn Camera Policy and Release of Critical Incident Footage, the timeframe for critical incident footage release for several other Texas law enforcement agencies is listed: 60 calendar day policy for The San Antonio Police Department, 30 calendar day policy for Houston Police Department, 10 business day policy for Austin Police Department and 72 hours for Dallas Police Department.

According to city documents, San Marcos City Council will meet today at 4:30 p.m. for a special called meeting to “receive legal advice regarding the policy governing recordings from body worn cameras,” and will “consider action, by motion, or provide direction to Staff regarding Executive Session item 1, above in accordance with Section 551.071 of the Texas Government Code: To receive legal advice regarding the policy governing recordings from body worn cameras.” The meeting may be viewed in person at City Hall or online at sanmarcos- ViewPublisher.php?view_ id=9.


CORRECTION: A caption under a photo in this article originally stated that that Joshua Wright, whose mother spoke at the vigil for Malachi Williams, was shot by an SMPD officer last year. That was incorrect. He was shot by a Hays County Correctional Officer. The caption has been updated online. We apologize for the error.

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666