Monday, June 26, 2017

Texas police almost never punished when they break rules and kill people

An Austin Statesman investigation found that police officers in Texas are almost never prosecuted or fired when they shoot people, even when their failure to follow department rules results in unnecessary deaths. Of the 289 shootings they examined since 2005:
even when officers violated use-of-force policies – using banned tactics, for example, or failing to promptly summon medical help for an injured prisoner — it was rare for them to be charged with a crime. Over the past decade, it happened just a handful of times, a six-month investigation by the American-Statesman has found. It was equally uncommon for officers to face discipline from their departments, such as suspensions or reprimands. 
Instead, their actions are often ratified by supervisors or fellow officers tasked with investigating such in-custody deaths and who often focus more on the conduct of the suspect than police. Similarly, prosecutors in many instances appear to rubber-stamp investigations, infrequently seeking an outside review from a grand jury, even when they have evidence of a possible crime.
In related news, the Dallas DA said Mesquite police officers committed crimes when they Tazed a young man in the testicles who later died from injuries caused from bashing his head inside a police car as he thrashed about. But prosecutors waited until the statute of limitations ran out so no one will be prosecuted. Typical.


Lee said...

That behavior is replete throughout the nation as officers continue to escape what should be the legal consequences of their actions. I guess the important color in the courtroom is blue.

Brad Walters said...

There is no statute of limitations on manslaughter. So now what is the excuse for the testicle tazing officer?

Chris H said...

@Brad Walters
The teen was on LSD. The medical examiner concluded he’d died of self-inflicted injuries sustained by hurling himself around the backseat of the police car on the way to the jail.

A jury would never find that the taser deployment was the reckless cause of death.

That said, there's a five year statute of limitation that has not yet tolled on deprivation of rights under color of law. Police brutality certainly falls under that. I wouldn't hold my breathe for the Trump administration to deal appropriately with this.

David White (aka Caged Monkey #12) said...

This isn't Trumps fault or a federal issue. State crimes and the Republican DA allowed the time to expire. The cops failure to restrain a mentally unstable man was the big problem.