BELL COUNTY, Texas – With every week, the crowd grows larger and the chants get louder.
On Monday evening, the NAACP – along with dozens of community members – held a protest for Michael Dean at the Bell County Justice Center, where district attorney Henry Garza’s office is located.
They are hoping for answers to begin healing.
The family, after six weeks, have gotten very little information about Michael Dean’s shooting death by nine-year Temple PD officer Carmen Decruz.
He has been on paid administrative leave since December 2 – the night the shooting took place.
Recent reports have confirmed the father of three wasn’t armed with a weapon at the time of the shooting.
As more people become aware of Dean’s case, more begin to show their support for the Dean family.
“As you can see, the crowd has gotten larger than before. So people are starting to notice that it’s just too long. They’re starting to feel them and come to say, ‘This could be my family member.’ And,’I wouldn’t want to wait six weeks to hear how my family member got shot,’” says Bennie Walsh, Temple’s NAACP President.
“We appreciate more people coming out and more people being seen and heard and making sure they see that the community is behind us. It’s not just us, as the Dean family that has concerns about what’s going on. The community is wanting to know, as well,” says Dean’s sister Deshaundra Dean-Smith.
The family and community members have been openly asking for more information about the Texas Rangers investigation into the shooting, but have received nothing.
The demonstration on Monday included folks from all walks of life – young, old, black, white – all desiring more transparency.
Temple Mayor Tim Davis says as a city, they don’t have any more information than the protesters do. However, they have requested that the Rangers expedite the Dean Investigation.
“They are not giving us weekly updates as to their progress, but we did ask them to move the investigation along and to move it to the top of their priority list. And to my understanding, they have done that,” says Davis.
He also shared his message for the protesters:
“My message to them is that we also want answers, but that’s one of my messages. Another message is that when all of this is said and done that we all need to be willing to work together as a community to heal this community. Something like this that happens in an instant could possibly take years to repair,” he says.