TEMPLE, Texas (FOX 44) – The City of Temple is speaking out regarding the verdict in the manslaughter trial of former Temple police officer Carmen Decruz.
On Tuesday afternoon, a Bell County jury found Decruz not guilty in the death of Michael Dean. This came after roughly two hours of deliberations.
The City of Temple issued a statement on Tuesday night, which started off by saying: “First and foremost, to the Dean family, we express our most sincere condolences. There is no easy outcome for our community.”
Temple recognizes the trial, “has been difficult for everyone involved” and said “we hope that we can begin moving forward together.”
The statement says the city believes police officers are public servants who should work collaboratively, transparently and fairly with the communities they serve – and that the Temple Police Department, “strives for every officer who wears our badge to protect and serve with integrity, honor, and dedication.”
While the criminal trial for the police officer’s conduct has concluded, the civil trial involving the City is ongoing. The City will reserve further comment on this case until that litigation has concluded.
While the City understands there is interest in the body worn camera footage, Texas Occupations Code Section 1701.660 prohibits the release of body worn camera footage of an incident involving the use of deadly force by a police officer until all criminal matters have been finally adjudicated. Although a verdict of not guilty was reached, the criminal matters will not be finally adjudicated until all appeals have been exhausted – according to the City.
The City also remains in active litigation – and in order to ensure that the trial process is fair and impartial, the body worn camera footage will not be released until the civil litigation concludes.
Temple Mayor Tim Davis and Chief of Police Shawn Reynolds have recorded statements addressed to the community. You can view these videos above.