Officer In Texas Indicted In 2019 Shooting Death Of Pamela Turner: It Took 1 Year To Investigate

Written by Ann Brown
Pamela Turner
A police officer in Texas has been indicted in the 2019 shooting death of Pamela Turner: It took more than a year to investigate. Photo: Facebook/Photo: Spray paint marks the spot at a Houston-area apartment complex in Baytown, Texas, May 14, 2019, where police say an officer shot and killed a woman after she hit him with his Taser during a struggle, shocking him. (AP Photo/John Mone)

More than one year. That is how long it took for police in Texas to investigate the police shooting of a Black woman named Pamela Turner outside her apartment complex.

Now, following the investigation, Officer Juan Delacruz of the Baytown Police Department has been indicted by a grand jury on one count of aggravated assault by a public servant, a first-degree felony, according to officials. If convicted, Delacruz could face five years to life in prison, The New York Times reported.

On May 13, 2019, Delacruz was trying to arrest Turner, 44, on outstanding warrants. A police spokesman says Delacruz shot Turner after she took his Taser from him and tased him with it. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, a lawyer for Turner’s family, said this is not true. She didn’t use the Taser on the police officer.

Turner had a misdemeanor criminal mischief charge filed against her on May 1, 2019, and a misdemeanor assault charge filed on April 25, 2019.

In a video of the incident that was taken by a bystander, Turner and Delacruz can be seen standing near a parked car in the parking lot of her complex. “I’m walking, I’m actually walking to my house,” she says to him. “You’re actually harassing me.”

A pop sound is then heard, and Turner can be seen falling to the ground, with Delacruz on top of her. She yells “I’m pregnant” and struggles with the officer, who backs away from Turner. Images from the video stop but the audio continues, and several gunshots can be heard, The Times reported.

The police have said that Turner was not pregnant.

Turner’s family said she suffered from mental illness, Click 2 Houston reported.

“Pam Turner’s killing was a tragedy,” said Kim Ogg, the Harris County district attorney, in a statement. “It is important to acknowledge that her family and the community are in pain.”

“Ultimately, we presented all of the evidence to a grand jury that determined the Baytown police officer should be charged with a crime for his actions when he shot Ms. Turner,” Ogg said, noting that the case was investigated by the Texas Rangers and the civil rights division of her office. “We respect their decision, and we will be moving forward with prosecution.”

Delacruz was hired in 2008 and was still employed by the department in a “nonenforcement” role during the investigation. 

Crump, who is also leading the legal team for the family of George Floyd, has been critical of the Baytown police department. 

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 73: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin makes the case for why this is a multi-factor rebellion vs. just protests about George Floyd. He discusses the Democratic Party’s sneaky relationship with the police in cities and states under Dem control, and why Joe Biden is a cop and the Steve Jobs of mass incarceration.

Crump tweeted, “Where’s the outrage over Pamela Turner? Over an ‘investigation’ that’s lasted more than 1 YEAR?! Every morning, Ofc. Juan Delacruz puts on his uniform and goes to work at Baytown Police Department. Every morning, the family of Pamela Turner mourns her death and prays for JUSTICE.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton said Turner’s name during the funeral service for George Floyd on June 8.