Trial Finally Begins For Cop Who Killed Grandmother In A Mental Health Crisis


After three years, the trial for a Baytown, Texas police officer, who is charged with aggravated assault by a public servant in the shooting death of a 44-year-old woman began on Monday. 

In 2019, Officer Juan Delacruz, gunned down Pamela Turner in an apartment complex while trying to arrest her for outstanding warrants. Bystander cell phone footage caught part of the incident and has been circulated online. The 30-second clip shows Turner resisting arrest and wrestling Delacruz. Delcruz tased Turner. Turner continued to resist and allegedly grabbed the taser. Delacruz steps back and fires five shots.

According to CBS News, Turner’s family alleges the police officer knew Turner suffered from mental illness as the two were neighbors, living in the same apartment complex. Delacruz also served as a security officer for the complex. Turner was battling paranoid schizophrenia and reportedly told her family that she felt targeted by the officer on more than one occasion.

An independent autopsy revealed that Turner was hit three times, including one fatal shot to her chest and another to her abdomen. The third shot penetrated her cheek.

By 2020, the Harris County Medical Examiner’s office determined that the “manner of death” for Turner was a homicide.

Now, Turner’s family is searching for accountability and justice. 

The Baytown Police Department maintains that Delacruz was justified in his use of excessive force as Turner was the aggressor as she got possession of the taser and attempted to use it on the officer. The department argued that taser didn’t initially deploy for Delacruz and Turner wasn’t tased, and instead the taser deployed for Turner, tasing Delacruz.

According to Newsone, the civil rights attorney Ben Crump, determined that the taser that Delacruz carried does not deploy more than once. Crump argues that since Delacruz had already fired his taser at Turner, he should have known that there was no threat against his life.

Since the shooting, Delacruz remains employed by the Baytown Police Department on administrative leave with pay.


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