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.
Police Abuse Lawyer – A Former Houston, Texas Police Officer Faces Charges, in D.A.’s Fresh Focus on Police Accountability
Posted on June 23rd, 2017
A former Houston, Texas, police officer has been indicted by a grand jury for actions taken on February 16, 2017. News of the indictment was released on June 22, 2017. In connection with the announcement about the former Houston Police Department officer, Kim Ogg, Houston’s District Attorney, said that her administration is focusing on police accountability. The former officer has now been charged with felony tampering of evidence and misdemeanor assault. Ogg, who has been the D.A. in Houston for six months, said at a news conference that these charges reflect the fresh commitment to police accountability.
The charges address alleged actions of the former police officer when he had a controversial encounter with Derek Carr, a man who had allegedly robbed the officer’s family home in Acres Homes, a northwest Houston neighborhood.
According to prosecutors who charged Carr with burglary, Carr was carrying some of the officer’s belongings and a 16-inch metal tool. They also say that since 1992, court records indicate that Carr has allegedly been charged with burglary 11 times.
When the former police officer encountered Carr on February 16, he was wearing his police uniform but was off duty. He and Carr got into a physical altercation, and the officer allegedly shot Carr once in the back and once in the arm. Just after the shooting, a bystander began shooting video footage, and it allegedly shows that the officer repeatedly kicked Carr. Photo evidence suggests that the police officer moved the metal tool, and the Houston D.A. said doing so was clearly meant to tamper with the evidence.
A Harris County grand jury did not indict the officer on a charge of aggravated assault for the shooting. The grand jury did, however, return a felony charge of allegedly tampering with evidence and a misdemeanor assault charge for allegedly kicking Carr.
Ogg used these indictments as an occasion to double down on her intent to make sure the law applies to all people equally, including law enforcement officials.
Tags: Associated Press,District attorney,Grand jury,Greater Houston,Harris County,Houston,Indictment,Texas
Posted on June 22nd, 2017
A video was taken by the girlfriend of Philando Castile in St. Paul, Minnesota, moments after he was allegedly shot multiple times by a police officer in July 2016. That video went viral, and there has been widespread outrage over Castile’s death since that time. The case recently went to trial by jury. On Friday, June 16, 2017, the officer who allegedly fired the deadly shots was acquitted of second-degree manslaughter and endangering safety by discharging a firearm.
The jury trial involved a week of testimony, and it focused primarily on what Castile was doing just before being shot. The jury was in deliberations for five days. The courtroom was tense when the verdict was announced, revealing that the officer was cleared of all charges. Castile’s mother immediately left the courtroom and later expressed her disbelief that a person allegedly got away with murder, in the death of her son.
Research indicates that this may have been the first time in the history of Minnesota that an on-duty officer was charged with a fatal shooting. The verdict was decided on the question of whether or not the officer had a reason to be afraid that Mr. Castile was reaching for the gun that he had informed the officer he had, after the officer pulled over the vehicle he was in.
The officer who allegedly shot Castile said during the trial that he believed Mr. Castile was making a grab for his gun. The deceased’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, said he was reaching for identification to give to the officer. Although there is a video from the dashcam from the police vehicle of the events and the live-stream video taken by Reynolds, no video provides footage of the critical moments in the front seat of the car, indicating how Castile moved before shots were fired.
The death of Castile has been the rallying cry for large protests in the twin cities. Not long after the deadly shooting, a question of racism became a major focus, partly as a result of U.S. President Barack Obama and Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton both verbalizing the question of whether the shooting would have occurred if the driver or passengers had been white.
Following the verdict, an estimated 1,500 people marched in protest at the Minnesota Capital in St. Paul. They caused transit delays and backups in traffic.
Tags: Black Lives Matter,Dashcam,Facebook,Manslaughter,Minnesota,Police,Police officer,Race and ethnicity in the United States Census,Saint Paul,Shooting of Philando Castile
Posted on June 21st, 2017
Police officers allegedly shot and killed a pregnant African American woman in her home Sunday night, June 18, 2017, while responding to a burglary call in Seattle, Washington. According to police, one police officer typically goes to a burglary scene, but there had been an incident at that address earlier in June in which the same woman, Charleena Lyles, had allegedly threatened an officer with shears. The 30-year-old mother of four weighed under 100 pounds and police could have easily overpowered her rather than using lethal force, her family says. They also say Lyles had mental problems. On Tuesday night, hundreds gathered in a vigil and rally to protest Lyles’ death and demand justice.
Police transcripts indicate that the officers engaged in a discussion about a supposedly stolen X-Box when they got to the apartment, and then the scene took a dramatic turn. One of the officers addressed Lyles, repeatedly telling her to get back. Then the other officer asked for quick back-up and said help was needed and a woman had two knives.
One officer told the other to Tase the woman, and the response was that he didn’t have a Taser. There were more commands to get back, by both officers. Then both officers allegedly fired shots.
The officers immediately called for medics. When they arrived, Lyles was declared dead. Lyles’ children were in the apartment, but Lyles was the only person harmed. Relatives took custody of the children.
According to the Seattle Police Department, the officers did have other equipment providing them with options that did not involve lethal force. Both of the officers had been through training for crisis intervention.
Tags: Apartment,Police,Police officer,Seattle,Seattle Police Department,Taser,The Seattle Times
Police Misconduct Lawyer Texas – Police Officers’ Use of Deadly Force is Linked to Low Self-Control, Study Shows
Posted on June 20th, 2017
A study conducted by the University of Texas at Dallas, Texas, analyzing responses of 1,935 police officers was designed to determine the level of self-control of each officer. Among the results of the extensive study, it shows that when a police officer demonstrates low-level self-control in his or her personal life, there is a greater tendency to use deadly force when serving as a police officer.
This study has been published in the online journal Police Quarterly. Eight indicators were used to measure self-control. These included such personal matters as being in a car accident and experiencing financial problems. For each indicator, the likelihood that an officer will be involved in a shooting increases by 21%, research suggests.
Other indicators which were used to indicate the level of self-control in personal life were:
- History of having a suspended driver’s license,
- Getting behind on payment of bills,
- Debts or loans over $1,000,
- Being separate or divorced,
- History of being under any variety of court order, and
- Receiving a traffic ticket within the last five years.
Among the researchers involved in the study are Dr. Jon Maskaly, Assistant Professor of Criminology; Dr. Alex Piquero; and Ashbel Smith, Professor of Criminology. The authors of the study include Dr. Wesley G. Jennings of Texas State University and Loyola University Chicago’s Dr. Christopher Donner.
Researchers say the study’s findings suggest that police departments could benefit from paying more attention to behavioral markers that reflect lower self-control. In addition, the use of interviews and psychological exams to screen candidates more effectively seems advisable.
Dr. Maskaly said a pattern of indicators suggest more screening is needed, but just a couple of indicators shouldn’t produce the same level of concern.
Tags: criminology,deadly force,police shooting,Texas State University
Posted on June 20th, 2017
A female Burkburnett, Texas police officer was arrested this week in Wichita Falls for allegedly driving while intoxicated. A Wichita County Sheriff’s deputy allegedly saw her vehicle run a flashing red light at approximately 2:20 a.m.
The deputy pulled the driver over, and the driver allegedly had no identification. The deputy alleged that the driver’s speech was slurred, and that he could smell alcohol on her breath. He also alleged that she was swaying when standing. The driver allegedly began a field sobriety test and then refused to continue it. The driver was then taken to jail, where she allegedly refused to provide breath or blood samples. Ultimately, the deputy allegedly obtained a warrant for the police officer to provide blood samples. It appears that the Burkburnett police officer is still employed as an officer by that city.