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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.

Dashcam Footage Released on a 2014 Fatal Police Shooting Allegedly Shows Suspect Fired at Officers

Posted on July 27th, 2017

English: View to the boardwalk of Atlantic Cit...

English: View to the boardwalk of Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 2014, 27-year-old Antoquan T. Watson was killed in Atlantic City, New Jersey, when seven police officers allegedly opened fire and shot him 45 times. This week, dashcam footage of the shooting was released. The video shows a series of events, ending with Watson allegedly shooting at police officers before they opened fire on him.

The fatal shooting occurred on March 27, 2014. Watson allegedly pulled a gun after he didn’t have the money to pay for a restaurant bill. He drove off in an SUV, after two credit card attempts were rejected for him to pay the $8 he owed.

At about 12:30 pm, officers from the Pleasantville Police Department were dispatched following 9-1-1 calls about the disturbance at the restaurant. Ultimately, police officers from three different departments got involved with chasing the SUV. The officers were from Pleasantville, Atlantic City, and Egg Harbor Township. The chase lasted approximately 11 minutes and covered a 10-mile span. The suspect drove his vehicle through a red light and had a collision with another vehicle. The SUV spun out. Then Watson allegedly got out of the SUV with a gun in his hand and opened fire on the officers. That’s when seven officers fired a total of 69 times, with 45 shots hitting the suspect, who was pronounced dead at the scene. It was revealed by his autopsy that there was PCP in his system when the alleged fatal police shooting occurred.

According to officials, there is surveillance video from the restaurant that confirms witness reports of Watson pointing a gun toward the ceiling inside the restaurant.

No charges were filed against any of the police officers with regard to the fatal shooting of Watson. The physical evidence and the scene were reviewed by a use-of-force expert, who determined that the officers took lawful action, under the circumstances.

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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The City of Houston Considers an $85,000 Settlement Related to a 2013 Officer-Involved Shooting

Posted on July 25th, 2017

English: 1200 Travis, the headquarters of the ...

English: 1200 Travis, the headquarters of the Houston Police Department Español: 1200 Travis, la sede del Departamento de Policía de Houston (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Houston, Texas, City Council was set to vote on July 25, 2017, regarding whether or not to enter a settlement in a federal civil rights lawsuit. The potential 85,000-dollar settlement is related to a 2013 narcotics raid, during which an unarmed man was shot. During the raid, a Houston police officer allegedly shot then 38-year-old George Ralph Benard in the abdomen. Benard filed lawsuits against the Houston Police Department (HPD) and the City of Houston, and both cases were dismissed.  He also filed a lawsuit against the officer who allegedly shot him, and that is the case which may end with a settlement this week. The question with regard to the officer is whether excessive force was used, when Benard was allegedly shot.

The 2013 shooting happened at about 8:20 p.m. in the 6700 block of Sherwood in Houston. According to HPD, police officers involved in the narcotics raid entered the home and identified themselves as officers. They say Benard was in the living room but then ran to a room toward the back of the home. He was ordered to stop and show his hands, but he failed to comply. According to officers, when Benard ran back into the room, he reached toward his waistband, as though he had a weapon there. He also turned abruptly toward one of the officers.

A police officer who says that he feared for his own safety and the safety of his partners shot Benard in the abdomen. The officer had been with HPD since December 1992. The case was investigated by HPD Internal Affairs, Homicide division, and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

Earlier in July 2017, Houston paid a settlement to the family of Kenny Releford in the amount of $260,000. It was the largest Houston settlement in the past seven years related to an officer-involved shooting. In 2012, Releford was allegedly fatally shot by a police officer and found to have been unarmed. Releford was a Navy veteran.

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 Corrections Deputy is Fired After Allegedly Breaking an Inmate’s Nose and Teeth

Posted on July 24th, 2017

: Manatee County Judicial Center

: Manatee County Judicial Center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On June 26, 2017, an investigation began with regard to an incident that allegedly occurred at Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Central Jail in Florida. An inmate’s nose and some of his teeth were broken during the alleged incident. As a result of the investigation, a 32-year-old corrections deputy was terminated from his position with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) on July 6. The officer has appealed the decision; and on July 27, it will be presented before a Career Service Board for consideration.

It was after the accused corrections deputy had conducted a contraband “shakedown” search at the jail that he was fired. Inmate Andrew Pryce found that his cache of oranges had been removed during the contraband search. Pryce allegedly become distraught and confronted the deputy. The inmate was placed in handcuffs with his arms behind his back, and two other deputies were also present

The three deputies began to escort Pryce from the dorm. The accused deputy and another took physical control of the inmate. There is an online video of what happened next.

As the three deputies and Pryce were walking down the hall, Pryce turned to speak to the deputy. The deputy then moved Pryce with his chest against the wall. More words were exchanged. The deputy then allegedly lifted the inmate, spun him to the left, and strong-armed him to the floor, facedown. Allegedly as a result of the deputy’s actions, the inmate suffered a broken nose along with broken teeth.

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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Police Misconduct Attorney – A Federal Judge Rules that a Prison in Rosharon, Texas, must Add Temporary Air-Conditioning for Heat-Sensitive Inmates

Posted on July 21st, 2017

BOT Complex, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Administrative Headquarters. (Source: Wikipedia)

The majority of prisons in Texas do not have air conditioning in inmate living areas, in spite of the sweltering heat in summer months. The Darrington Unit, a maximum-security prison built in 1917, is among them. It is located in Rosharon, about 30 miles southwest of Houston. There’s nothing about this particular prison to necessarily distinguish it from others, as far as the need to give relief to at-risk inmates. Regardless of that lack of distinction, on July 19, 2017, Keith Ellison, federal district judge in Houston, ordered the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to provide inmates in the Pack Unit with air conditioning within 15 days. Medically sensitive inmates are housed in that part of The Darrington Unit.

The state announced that it is appealing the temporary order, which has a 90-day expiration date.

One of the considerations in the appeals court will be whether this matter should be a class-action suit applying to the entire prison system, as opposed to only those in Rosharon.

The matter is expected to go to trial. Judge Ellison said that he thinks his order will probably stand, which means permanent changes can be expected for Pack Unit inmates.

In the meantime, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton made a statement saying it is unnecessary to take on the exorbitant cost of air conditioning systems and the electricity required to operate them. In addition, air conditioning is not mandated by the constitution. He expressed confidence that TDCJ is doing everything required to give adequate protection from the heat and to provide safeguards from heat-related illnesses. Fans and unlimited access to ice are among the measures that currently provide relief to prison inmates at The Darrington Unit, which some inmates say is a big improvement over 8 years ago.

In Texas prisons, research indicates that there have been 23 fatalities and hundreds of illnesses related to heat since 1998.

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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Bexar County (San Antonio) Jailer Allegedly Neglected Cell Check Duties Prior to Inmate Suicide

Posted on July 20th, 2017

English: The Bexar County Courthouse in San An...

English: The Bexar County Courthouse in San Antonio, TX. Taken from nearby Main Plaza. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Bexar County Sheriff’s Office detention officer was given a 10-day suspension in March 2017 because he allegedly did not properly supervise inmates in his care last year during a period when an inmate committed suicide. One inmate ended up in the wrong jail cell, and that inmate’s cellmate, 54-year-old Ricardo Gamez, hanged himself while he was alone. The man’s suicide occurred four days after he allegedly agreed to plead guilty to his third charge of driving while intoxicated (DWI). Family members said Gamez was highly distraught over the possibility of serving up to 20 years in prison. His was one of five suicides last year at the Bexar County Jail.

This suicide came shortly after it was revealed that the system for checking on inmates was flawed. According to Sheriff Javier Salazar, electronic check-ins revealed that the detention officer did a check of the area. However, Salazar says the officer failed to look into that cell in particular. There have been allegations by investigators for more than a year that jailers in Bexar County have been cutting corners.

The way it works is that detention officers walk through population areas with an electronic wand. They are supposed to do a visual check of each cell before touching the wand to the electronic signal box on the side of the individual door, signaling that the check has been done.

In mid-2016, after several custodial suicides had occurred in Bexar County Jail last year, some detention officers made allegations to investigators that other officers were not actually checking the cells. They alleged that some officers were only using the electronic system to make it look as though they did the required checks. It was after these things were revealed that Gamez took his own life.

Salazar said that his office and the District Attorney’s office are conducting re-investigations into Gamez’s death as well as other past custodial deaths.

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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