TEMPLE, Texas – The attorney for the family of 28-year-old Michael Dean, who was shot and killed by a Temple Police officer Monday, is speaking out. He is calling for more transparency from the Temple Police Department.
“We have no narrative whatsoever. We have no indication as to what caused this officer-involved shooting to take place other than a traffic stop,” says Lee Merritt.
Temple Police are still remaining tight-lipped regarding details in their preliminary investigation.
“I understand the family has concerns and questions, as does the community. It is my goal to answer those questions thoroughly and accurately following the completion of these investigations,” says Jim Tobin, the department’s chief.
In a press confrence, Merritt called Temple PD’s lack of transparancy to the family and the public a major red flag. He calls the department’s decision to keep a black box of information to themselves “unacceptable”.
“The police department had every right to tell the family what they knew. They chose not to, which to me implies a cover-up. They’re willfully withholding information from this family,” says Merritt.
Family members of Dean say four days after his death, they still haven’t seen his body.
“His body was whisked away to Dallas County, which is two to three hours away, has not been returned yet, and this family cannot even confirm that Michael Dean who was killed was in fact their loved one,” says Merritt.
His family says an element equally important to them is the identity of the officer behind Michael’s death. They feel he should be arrested, properly indicted and prosecuted.
“Someone is willing to shoot an unarmed man in the head. And we don’t know who he is. We don’t have any explanation or justification for the deadly use of force. He absolutely represents a danger to this community,” says Merritt.
TPD says they won’t release any additional information until the entire investigation is complete.
“Upon the completion of the criminal investigation by the Texas Rangers, the department will conduct an internal investigation to determine if the officer’s actions were within policy,” says Chief Tobin.