Texas Governor Greg Abbott Monday signed the Damon Allen Act into law, named after DPS trooper Damon Allen of Groesbeck who was killed in the line of duty in 2017.
A statement issued by the Governor’s Office said the Act will keep Texas communities safe and secure by prohibiting the release on personal bond of defendants charged with a violent offense or who are charged while released on bail. The bill also requires a defendant be granted or denied bail within 48 hours of their arrest and that a defendant’s criminal history be examined before setting bail.
The bill was signed at the Texas Pastor Council’s Safer Houston Summit.
“The Damon Allen Act ensures Texas communities are safe and secure by making it harder for dangerous criminals to be released on bail,” said Governor Abbott. “Texas cities will not follow the lead of Portland, Seattle, and Minneapolis; Texas will remain a law-and-order state and continue using every tool available to preserve the safety that Texans deserve. That is why I am proud to sign the Damon Allen Act into law, which will reform our broken bail system in the Lone Star State.”
Trooper Allen was murdered in the line of duty in 2017 by a violent criminal who was out on a $15,000 bond despite having previously been convicted for assaulting a public servant and having been arrested for evading arrest and aggravated assault on a public servant.
Dabrett Montreal Black was arrested and charged with Allen’s death.
The arrest affidavit for Black says that Thursday, November 23, at 3:45 p.m. Texas State Trooper Damon C. Allen stopped a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu for a speeding violation as it traveled southbound on I-45 near mile post 194 in Freestone County.
The affidavit says Trooper Allen made contact with the driver of the vehicle and identified the driver by his Texas driver license as Dabrett Montreal Black.
The affidavit continues: Upon obtaining Black`s driver license, Trooper Allen returned to his patrol vehicle. The affidavit states that while Trooper Allen was sitting in the front driver seat, Black exited his vehicle with a rifle, stood beside the driver side door of his vehicle and fired multiple shots.
The affidavit says that as Trooper Allen was attempting to exit his vehicle, he sustained at least one fatal gunshot wound and died at the scene.
The affidavit noted that Black
s driver license was recovered at the scene, which other investigators said was located under Trooper Allens body.
An investigator noted photographs of the trooper indicated that his duty pistol was in his holster with the retention strap engaged.
Records indicated that Black was out on bond on charges that he had assaulted a deputy in Smith County at the time of the shooting.