HomeSouth Asian AmericanBrother of man killed in police shooting fighting for police reform

Brother of man killed in police shooting fighting for police reform

The brother of a man killed during a police shooting in Austin, Texas, is now fighting for police reform.

Rajan Moonesinghe was shot and killed by an Austin police officer outside of his South Austin home on November 15. That morning Moonsinghe had returned to his home after a business trip. He believed someone was attempting to burglarize his home.

Police responded to a 911 call saying a man was standing outside his home and pointing a rifle at the house. Moonesinghe is said to have fired a shot one time. When police arrived, an officer asked Moonesinghe to drop his weapon and shot him seconds afterwards.

His family says police did not give Rajan enough time to drop his weapon. His brother Johann Moonesinghe, who co-founded the finance and technology app “inKind” with Rajan, told KVUE it has been difficult to get answers about his brother’s death.

“I took off work for the first time,” Johann said. “It’s just been really, really hard. Nobody would’ve ever expected this, and I think it’s been even more difficult because it’s been a fight with police to get answers, to figure out what’s going on.”

In December, Johann founded the “Rajan Foundation,” which has now raised millions of dollars to put toward police reform. The foundation is working on ideas like non-lethal policing tools and implicit-bias training.

Police have confirmed that Officer Daniel Sanchez shot Rajan immediately after he ordered him to drop his weapon. There is currently a petition calling for Austin District attorney Jose Garza to indict Officer Sanchez.

“[Rajan] should be alive today. If Officer Sanchez is allowed to continue on the force without consequences, more people like Raj could be in danger. Join us in demanding justice for Raj,” the petition reads.

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