A Houston attorney is trying an unusual legal tactic in defense of a client charged with assaulting a police officer. Attorney Paul Looney claims a 'Shoot/Don't Shoot' simulator at the Harris County criminal courthouse taints the grand jury process.
Officials with the district attorney's office have said individuals serving on Harris County grand juries are put through this simulator to give them an understanding of the split-second decisions officers have to make when confronted by a person armed with a weapon. Officials with the DA's office said defense attorneys are also invited to go through the simulator.
"I'm trying to protect one man from a corrupt process," said Looney.
Looney represents William Driver, who was charged last year with assaulting an off-duty Houston police officer who was working security at the Livestock Show and Rodeo cook-off.
"My client is a respected businessman, a corporate vice president that got attacked," said Looney.
Police said Driver became belligerent with officers when he was told he could not enter an area of the cook-off. Police said Driver appeared intoxicated, used profanities and resisted the officer when he tried to place him in handcuffs. Police said after Driver was wrestled to the ground he continued swinging his arms and hit the officer in the face; cutting his mouth and nose.
"They're just flat liars," said Looney.
Looney said shortly after Driver's arrest he received cellphone video taken by two different bystanders. The video provided to Local 2 shows Driver and a friend facing two police officers, but the conversation cannot be heard over the noise of the crowd.
One officer is seen attempting to grab Driver's hand, which he pulls away. The officer is then seen going behind Driver while pointing at his friend to step back. The officer is then seen grabbing Driver from behind as two other officers move in to try to subdue him.
The video shows the officers wrestling Driver to the ground. While he is on the ground one officer is seen stunning Driver with a Taser.
"We've got police officers that are out of control," said Looney.
Looney said he gave a copy of this video to prosecutors and was convinced it would exonerate his client. Instead, a grand jury indicted Driver on felony charges of assaulting a public servant.
"Now we find out that all the grand juries are all the subject of mind control tactics," said Looney.
Looney has filed a motion to quash the indictment against Driver; claiming the Shoot/Don't Shoot simulator unfairly tilts the grand jury process in favor of police officers.
"They are indoctrinated with exercises and video games calculated to do nothing other than to make them overlook police bad behavior," said Looney. "They are intentionally manipulating the thought process of these people before they let them see any evidence."
A judge has not yet ruled on the motion.