DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – After a nearly two-year investigation, Dallas County Criminal DA John Cruezot announced on May 6, 2022 that a Dallas County grand jury returned indictments on three police officers charged in connection to the Summer 2020 protests after the murder of George Floyd.
The Grand Jury found probable cause to indict a former and current Dallas Police officer and one Garland Police officer:
- DPD Senior Corporal Ryan Mabry was indicted on six counts of Aggravated Assault by a Public Servant and two counts of Deadly Conduct. He was also indicted on three counts of Official Oppression on February 9, 2022.
- Former DPD Senior Corporal Melvin Williams was indicted on four counts of Aggravated Assault by a Public Servant and two counts of Deadly Conduct. He was also indicted on three counts of Official Oppression on February 9, 2022.
- Garland Police Officer Joe Privitt was indicted on one count of Aggravated Assault by a Public Servant.
Cruezot’s officeafter it was determined that they had used excessive force against protestors.
At least three individuals suffered partial and permanent vision loss after being struck in the eye with projectiles allegedly fired by Mabry and Williams.
According to the warrants, another officer asked Mabry, who was assigned to the Tactical Operations Division:
“Is you the one who shot that guy?” pointing in the direction of the unknown subject that wore gloves. Officer Mabry responded “yeah” followed by laughter and a fist bump with (the fellow officer)and then confirmed again by saying *oh yeah.” Officer Mabry further stated, “We have the high velocity rounds….”
Williams was terminated from the department on January 25, 2022, for violating the department’s use of force policy after video surfaced of Williams assaulting a man in Deep Ellum during an arrest.
Another man was allegedly injured with a shotgun by Privitt. The indictment did not offer details about the specific injuries he suffered. Privitt had not been previously named in the Dallas DA’s investigation.
In a press conference Friday, Garland Police Chief Jeff Bryan said he was “astonished and disappointed” to learn that Privitt had been indicted. Bryan also said that Privitt had served on the force for over 30 years and had not received any disciplinary actions in that time.
A trial date will be announced at a later time.
Meanwhile, DPA President Mike Mata is calling this a political witch-hunt. He shared how the officers are reacting. “They’re shocked. They’re shocked because not only did they operate that tool, which remember it’s a less lethal somehow it’s been defined as a firearm. It is a not a firearm.”
Mata said they’ll now use every single avenue they have to support these officers.
Moving forward, he’s concerned about how this will affect police officers across the country when it comes to responding to protests.
Source : https://www.cbsnews.com/dfw/news/dallas-jury-indicts-three-police-officers-involved-summer-2020-protests/