‘We can begin moving forward together’: City of Temple reacts to not guilty verdict in trial of ex-cop charged in shooting death of Michael Dean

Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 7:51 AM CST
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - The City of Temple released statements from the Mayor and Chief of Police Tuesday night, following the not guilty verdict of former Temple officer, Carmen DeCruz, who was charged with second-degree manslaughter as well as criminally negligent homicide in the fatal officer-involved shooting of an unarmed Black man, Michael Dean.

The city sent its condolences for the Dean family, stating the outcome would not be easy regardless of the verdict. “To the community, we recognize that this trial has been difficult for everyone involved and we hope that we can begin moving forward together,” the City wrote.

Temple Mayor Tim Davis also addressed the community Tuesday night, addressing the community’s concerns and the city’s aim to move forward and improve.

“I know that many of you have felt frustration with the way that the situation was handled and the city’s response to the community, and to all at the time of the shooting,” Davis said. “We lead the community as fellow citizen volunteers and not professional politicians. As a result of this tragedy, we have learned from one another, engaged in meaningful dialogue and started initiatives to engage the community members from diverse backgrounds and viewpoints to help us build meaningful community for everyone going forward.”

The city also addressed the release of DeCruz’s body-cam footage. The release stated that the city cannot release that footage of the incident until all criminal matters have been examined, and, because possible appeals have not been examined and judged, the footage cannot be released, according to the Texas Occupations Code Sections 1701.660.

“Additionally, the City 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,” the release included.

The Temple Chief of Police Shawn Reynolds, who became the Temple Chief of Police after the incident, also addressed the community.

“Law enforcement and its officers face criticism in our society, and some of it is very well earned, but some of it is not,” Reynolds said. “However, I remain convinced that we as a community can continue to work together to do better and be better.”

In terms of the ongoing civil litigation concerning the case, the city stated they will not have further comment on the case until that is completed.

KWTX also spoke with Dean’s loved ones about their reactions to the jury’s verdict which can be found here.