Man critically injured by Austin Police during protest

Published: Jun. 5, 2020 at 9:20 AM CDT
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A young Texas man is critically injured after being struck by a beanbag round from police during a demonstration in downtown Austin this past weekend.

Twenty-year-old Justin Howell was taking video with his mobile phone while standing in the street and near the sidewalk in front of police headquarters shortly after 11 p.m. Sunday night.

A different protester beside him threw a water bottle at officers gathered on the stairs.

Later that same protester hurled a backpack towards the officers.

Within a moment's notice after that, one of the officers fired a "Less-lethal" round at the protester but hit Howell instead.

Police say Howell fell to the ground and possibly hit his head as he fell.

A crowd of protesters carried Howell away, seeking medical attention. At some point, they too were fired on by police.

Authorities say the victim was taken into police headquarters and then loaded into an ambulance and transported to the hospital.

Chief Manley says that the department immediately began a "Level one" investigation, sending investigators to the hospital. The investigation remains ongoing.