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Attorneys Representing Police Misconduct Victims Across Texas

This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for police misconduct injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by police miscponduct.

A Prisoner at Cherokee County Jail in Rusk, Texas, Dies of Unknown Causes

Posted on December 13th, 2017

Cherokee County Courthouse (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On Sunday night, December 10, 2017, a prisoner at the Cherokee County Jail in Rusk, Texas, died. The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office made the announcement. According to Sheriff James Campbell, the prisoner was transported to a hospital in Jacksonville, where the official pronouncement of the death was made. It appears to be a fatality resulting from natural causes. However, an autopsy will be performed and an official cause of death will be determined; this process could take several weeks, Campbell said. The death is being investigated by the Texas Rangers, which is standard procedure when a custodial death occurs. The prisoner’s name was not announced because family members had not yet been notified.

Another standard procedure when a custodial death occurs is that the Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) must be notified. TCJS will also conduct an investigation. Documentation and videos will be reviewed, to determine whether mandatory procedures were being followed at the time the incident took place.

An inspection of Cherokee County Jail was conducted on September 27, 2016. As a result, the jail was cited for allegedly failing to complete an intake screening form which involved notification of medical personnel and a magistrate. Intake screenings are considered to be important because they help to determine whether a person may be mentally ill or at risk for committing suicide. Those who give some sort of indication that they may be at risk are observed face-to-face by a jailer every 30 minutes, whereas the general population is observed every hour at most.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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La Salle County Jail is Cited by TCJS for 2 Alleged Minimum Jail Standards Violations

Posted on December 13th, 2017

English: The Wagon Wheel Restaurant, abandoned...

English: The Wagon Wheel Restaurant, abandoned, near the Nueces River, Cotulla, Texas was razed in 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Jail Inspection Report for La Salle County Jail in Cotulla, Texas, was completed on November 16, 2017, by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS). The jail was cited for two alleged minimum jail standards violations. Anytime a jail comes under scrutiny as a result of a custodial death or another event that raises concerns, the TCJS conducts an investigation. Documentation and videos are carefully reviewed, to determine whether records indicate that the jail staff has been following mandatory procedures. The purpose of jail standards is largely to protect the safety of prisoners, staff members, and visitors.

Based on studies and research, it has been determined that making face-to-face checks and ensuring that there is a sufficient amount of staff are two jail procedures that help to keep prisoners safe. These are both areas in which La Salle County Jail has been cited. More details follow:

  • Paperwork and video evidence was carefully reviewed, and it was determined that prisoners in holding or detox cells at La Salle County Jail allegedly had welfare checks that exceeded 30 minutes. In addition, documentation was not completed in compliance with minimum jail standards.
  • In Texas, each jail facility must have the appropriate number of jailers around the clock. Face-to-face observation of all prisoners must be made by jailers at least every 60 minutes. For at-risk prisoners, such as those who are mentally ill or potentially suicidal, observations must be made every 30 minutes at most. A review of paperwork showed that jail staff either failed to make the 60-minute checks as required or failed to document them as required.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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La Marque, Texas Police Officer Kills Man With Sword

Posted on December 12th, 2017

Information in this post was obtained from a custodial death report filed by the La Marque Police Department in Texas with the Attorney General of Texas.  We do not assert that anyone did anything wrong in this post but are simply providing information.

On or about December 3, 2017, La Marque Police Department officers were called to a scene after Gregory Hamm, 62 years of age, allegedly broke into a neighbor’s home while possessing a sword.  Mr. Hamm allegedly threatened the neighbor with the sword.  Mr. Hamm reportedly then returned to a structure that he used as a residence.  La Marque officers entered the structure with a police K-9 Dog.  Once the K-9 dog located Mr. Hamm, Mr. Hamm allegedly charged at a police officer and swung at him or her with the sword.  The officer then shot Mr. Hamm once and killed him.

Police officers may not, under the objective circumstances at the time of an occurrence, use excessive force.  They must not use deadly force if deadly force is not necessary.  If they do, then claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section 1983, for violation of the United States Constitution, might be available.

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A New Civil Lawsuit is Filed on Behalf of Jenny, a Rape Victim Jailed in Houston, Texas, to Secure her Testimony

Posted on December 12th, 2017

English: Harris County, Texas Annex

English: Harris County, Texas Annex (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For 27 days, a mentally ill woman named Jenny was locked up in the general population of Harris County Jail in Houston, Texas, but not for an alleged crime. The Harris County District Attorney’s office at that time allegedly had her placed in jail to secure her testimony in a major rape case. There has since been a law named after Jenny that provides protections against such incidents. A new civil case in connection with this 2015 incident was filed on Monday, December 11, 2017. In this lawsuit, the doctors and hospital that allowed county prosecutors to take her out of the hospital and lock her up are being sued.

The case claims that an inpatient psychiatric patient cannot be simply handed over to individuals who may show up and claim authority to take her into custody. The event that instigated these actions was that then 26-year-old Jenny had a mental breakdown when testifying against her rapist. She was taken to a unit of St. Joseph Medical Center and diagnosed with suicidal ideation and psychosis. Fearing that she wouldn’t show up again in the case, prosecutors had an attachment order filed against Jenny, to lock her up in the interim.

The new lawsuit claims that Jenny’s rights were treated with callous or reckless indifference and that she was unlawfully transferred to the Harris County Jail. While Jenny was locked up, she allegedly did not get her medications regularly and she was attacked by another prisoner. The further claim is that Jenny’s experience with the county has been traumatic, causing possibly irreparable damage.

The rapist Jenny eventually testified against is now serving two life sentences.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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A Man in Oklahoma City is Killed in an Alleged Police Shooting

Posted on December 11th, 2017

Oklahoma City Police Department (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On Sunday evening, December 10, 2017, in southeast Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, a man died after an alleged officer-involved shooting. An officer had responded to a call about a man lying in the grass at the intersection of Mackleman Drive and Southeast 59th Street. The man was later identified as 28-year-old Kyle Anthony Mihecoby. The female officer who went to the scene later reported that the man was not cooperating with her. According to Oklahoma City Police Department Captain Bo Matthews, at that time, the police officer used pepper spray on Mihecoby. Then he reportedly punched her in the face. An altercation followed, during which the officer’s Taser was reportedly taken from her. Mihecoby then allegedly tried to use the Taser on the officer. The police officer then allegedly fired her handgun. Mihecoby was pronounced dead at the scene. The officer was treated at a nearby hospital for injuries to her hands and face. Nothing further has been published on this alleged fatal police shooting, but there will be an investigation into the incident. There was no mention of whether there was a body cam on the police officer when the shooting occurred, to provide evidence of what happened.

In Texas, anytime there is an officer-involved shooting, there is an investigation by the Texas Rangers. In 2015, the Texas Rangers investigated 3,224 incidents total, which includes various categories, in addition to officer-involved fatalities. A total of 1,820 convictions came out of those investigations, resulting in one death sentence, 42 life sentences, and 9,580 years in prison time.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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