Dallas police union defends officers accused of excessive force in 2020 George Floyd protests
The officers are accused of severely injuring people during protests in downtown Dallas.
A Dallas police union is defending the actions of two officers accused of injuring protesters in 2020 during the George Floyd demonstrations.
Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot issued arrest warrants Wednesday for officers Ryan Mabry and former officer Melvin Williams for excessive force and official oppression. Williams was recently fired from the Dallas Police Department for an excessive force incident unrelated to the protest.
Dallas Police Association president Michael Mata said at a press conference Thursday that the warrants against Mabry and Williams aren’t justified.
“When will this DA stop treating the criminal element in this city as a victim,” Mata said. “When will he start treating Dallas residents and officers as the victims and protectors instead of as criminals?”
The district attorney’s office says the charges against Mabry and Williams are pre-indictment criminal charges, meaning they'll proceed to a grand jury.
Several people were severely injured by the officers during the protests, according to an affidavit obtained by The Dallas Morning News. One of the protesters, Brandon Saenz, lost an eye and seven teeth after being struck by so-called less-lethal ammunition.
Mata said neither officers were harmed during the protests but that the warrants come at a politically calculated moment.
“The level of charges placed against these officers are so overreaching and obviously politically motivated and timed for the upcoming primary, that we must bring this to the attention of the public,” Mata said.
Several people were injured in Texas and across the country during the demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed by Minneapolis police. In Austin, 18 officers are being investigated for using less-lethal rounds on protesters.
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