In May 2019, Baytown officer Juan Delacruz shot Pamela Shantay Turner, 45, after trying to arrest her because she had outstanding warrants.
Previously, police said that during a struggle between the two, Turner reached for Delacruz’s taser and used it on him.
Texas Rangers led the investigation into the shooting and handed their findings over to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office for review. The DA then presented the findings to a grand jury, which returned with the indictment, a news release from the Baytown police said.
“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 in a statement.
“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.
Delacruz is an 11-year veteran of the department. He is still employed, but he has been placed on non-enforcement status, said Lt. Steve Dorris, a Baytown police spokesman. Non-enforcement status meaning Delacruz is not working the streets and his police powers have been suspended.
According to civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Turner’s family, she had schizophrenia.
Police have said Delacruz was patrolling an apartment complex in the Houston suburb when he saw Turner, whom he knew had an outstanding warrant and initially tried to arrest her.
The incident was captured in a shaky video. Turner can be heard yelling at the officer, “I’m walking! I’m actually walking to my house!” and then accuses Delacruz of harassing her.
As Delacruz tries to handcuff the Turner, she breaks free, prompting the officer to deploy his Taser. Turner slowly drops to the ground, the video shows.
A scuffle ensues, and Turner keeps yelling, “Why?” Delacruz continues his attempts to take her into custody, and Turner flails her arms and shouts, “I’m pregnant!”
Turner appears to reach for the officer, who stands back and fires five rounds, as seen in the video.
Police later said Turner “was able to gain control of the Taser and used it on the officer.” While Delacruz attempted to administer first aid, Turner was pronounced dead at the scene.
Last May, Dorris, the police spokesman, said that Turner was not pregnant.