TEMPLE, Texas – According to the Associated Press, a police report says a Texas officer who fatally shot an unarmed man in the head in December opened fire while the pair had “an altercation of some sort.”
The report filed with the Texas attorney general’s office says Temple officer Carmen DeCruz tried to pull Michael Dean over for speeding on the night of December 2. The 28-year-old did not stop and “a short pursuit ensued.”
The report does not detail what proceeded the shooting, but says the most serious offense Dean would have been charged with was “evading in a vehicle.”
The Texas Rangers say they are still investigating.
The Temple Police Department has since clarified information about two reports filed with the Texas Attorney General’s office.
As required by the Attorney General’s office, the department filed two reports on December 30th, 2019, regarding the December 2 officer-involved shooting. Temple PD submitted a three-page Peace Officer Involved Injuries or Death Report and a seven-page Custodial Death Report. The Attorney General’s office, not the Department, controls the timing of the release of reports submitted to them.
The three-page report was uploaded to the Attorney General’s website on December 30th. The Department is unaware when the seven-page report was uploaded onto the website. Inquiries about when this report was uploaded should be directed to the Attorney General’s office.
These reports must be submitted within 30 days of the incident. They were completed with the information that was available at the time. Since the date of submission, Temple PD has made no amendments or added any new information to these reports. These reports can be amended at a later date if necessary and as information becomes available.
At this time, Temple PD has new information or updates to the reports that have been filed.
This case is still under investigation by the Texas Rangers and the Bell County District Attorney’s office.
Fox 44 spoke with the Dean family’s attorney and he calls the most recent report’s obscurity upsetting for both him and the family.
“The wording used was so obscure that it didn’t provide any clarity to what we already knew. We knew that Michale Dean was killed in a traffic stop but we don’t know that he did anything that would justify using deadly force and this report doesn’t provide anymore clarity to those questions,” said Lee Merritt.
Temple’s Mayor Tim Davis says he and other city officials are relying soley on the Texas Rangers investigation before they speak in-depth to the matter.
“the Michael Dean situation is tragic and we’re still working through that process and I understand that that’s a sensitive topic and I as the mayor am just as anxious to get that process finished as anyone else,” Mayor Davis said.
Interim Chief Jim Tobin sent Fox 44 a statement regarding Michael Dean’s death investigation provided below.
“In the officer-involved shooting involving Michael Dean, Temple PD brought in the Texas Rangers as the lead investigating agency to ensure we had an independent and transparent investigation that was not influenced by this agency.
An internal investigation into this matter is focusing on the officer’s conduct to determine whether the officer followed TPD policies and local rules and regulations of the Civil Service Commission.
In any administrative investigation, it is imperative that department administration follow guidelines and procedures identified by the Meet and Confer Agreement between the Temple Police Association and the City of Temple; Local Government Code Chapter 143; and Temple Police Department’s policies.
The goal of this department when an officer is under investigation is to support the individual as a member of the department and a human being while also holding them accountable if they have violated any of the department’s policies or procedures,” said Chief Jim Tobin.
Sources: Associated Press, Temple Police Department