A Texas police officer has been indicted on an aggravated assault charge more than a year after he shot and killed a mentally ill Black woman during an attempted arrest.
A grand jury charged Baytown Police officer Juan Delacruz in the death of Pamela Turner, reported CNN. The 44-year-old woman with schizophrenia died in May 2019 after Delacruz attempted to apprehend her for outstanding warrants as she walked through an apartment complex, where Turner and Delacruz reportedly both lived.
In a video taken by an onlooker, Turner was shown struggling with the officer and repeatedly asked why he was trying to detain her. During the scuffle, she accused Delacruz of harassment and yelled “I’m pregnant!”
Toward the end of the clip, a buzzing noise sounded before Delacruz stood up and fired several shots. Baytown Police claimed Turner grabbed his taser and used it on him. Turner was pronounced dead at the scene. She reportedly was not pregnant.
Delacruz was charged with one count of aggravated assault by a public servant after an investigation conducted by the Texas Rangers. He is still employed with the police department, but he is on non-enforcement status. Baytown Police responded to the indictment on Monday, Sept. 14.
“We have faith and trust in our judicial system, and as we wait for this case to proceed through the legal process, we ask that our community continue to be patient and have trust and faith in those processes,” Baytown Police said.
“We also ask that our community continue to have faith and trust in the Baytown Police Department and the dedicated, professional men and women who are committed to serving all members of our community with integrity, compassion and professionalism.”
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said Delacruz will be given a chance to turn himself in to authorities. If convicted, he faces five years to life in prison.