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NAACP, residents rally for answers in fatal officer-involved shooting

NAACP and the Central Texas community rallied behind Michael Dean's family.
NAACP and the Central Texas community rallied behind Michael Dean's family.(KWTX)
Published: Dec. 11, 2019 at 10:40 PM CST
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In response to the shooting death of Michael Dean, the Temple branch of the NAACP held a rally in downtown Temple Wednesday.

Dean was shot and killed on Dec. 2 by Temple police officer Carmen DeCruz.

Since the fatal shooting, Michael Dean's family continues to search for answers on what happened to the father of three.

Outside Temple City Hall, the family was surrounded by supporters, NAACP members and their attorney Lee Merritt.

"We have been contacting the city to get information. The city has not given us any information," said Bennie Walsh, president of the Temple branch of NAACP.

From city hall, those who came for the "Press Release" event walked to Temple Police Department, chanting and holding their signs.

“There’s no answers being given. That’s the worst part about it. I feel like if he was wrong we would have answers," said Michael Dean's brother, Brandon Jenkins.

Jenkins and his younger brother, Jeremy Dean, say they want DeCruz to be held responsible.

According to Merritt, Michael Dean was unarmed and shot in the head.

“That was no protect and serve. He did not deserve that. All we want is him to be held to the same standard as a normal citizen would," said Jeremy Dean.

As far as what happened on Dec. 2, authorities have not said.

“Why there are no details about this one (shooting)? This is the reason why the community is so frustrated," said Jenkins.

Earlier, Merritt also gave his thoughts.

"The reason I believe we don't know what happened is because...it's bad," said Merritt.

Temple Mayor Tim Davis says he understands the frustration. When asked about the time it took for the city to release information about the shooting, he apologized.

“I agree that city was slow in releasing information and I apologize for that," he said.

With the investigation now in the hands of the Texas Rangers, Temple police continue to be tight-lipped.

“What we want to make sure is the right, correct information get out. So, for anyone other than the Texas Rangers to release anything, in my opinion, would be incorrect," Davis said.

He says the city has reached out to Dean's family and is willing to talk to the family at any time.

Merritt, who is also representing two other officer-involved shootings that happened this week, says he met with Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza earlier Wednesday.

He did not go into details on what was said. Merritt says he, along with the family, will keep pushing for answers.

During a press conference last week, Interim Temple Police Chief Jim Tobin called on the community to have patience during the investigation.

“I understand the family has concern and questions as does the community. It is my goal to answer those questions thoroughly and accurately following the completion of these investigations,” Tobin said on Friday.

Per standard practice, DeCruz remains on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

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