'She's not a monster': Family of woman killed by Baytown officer speaks
BAYTOWN, Texas – The family of a woman who was shot and killed this week during a struggle with a Baytown police officer spoke publicly for the first time since the shooting.
At a news conference Thursday in downtown Houston, attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the family of 44-year-old Pamela Turner, called her death an “unjustifiable execution.”
Police said an officer was attempting to arrest Turner on Monday night on an outstanding warrant when they began to struggle. Police said the officer used his Taser gun on Turner, but she was able to take the Taser away from the officer. Police said the officer then fired several times.
The police officer was identified Thursday as Juan Delacruz.
Video of the encounter showed Delacruz, who police said had prior dealings with Turner, fired at least five shots. Turner was hit at least once, police said.
WARNING! GRAPHIC VIDEO
Witnesses record deadly officer-involved shooting in Baytown
Editor's note: Because of its graphic nature, the video below has been edited.
“The Baytown police sought to criminalize Pamela Turner,” Crump said. “The family seeks to humanize her.”
Crump said Turner was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2005, and the family believes she was suffering a mental episode when she was confronted by the officer.
Antoinette Dorsey-Jones, one of Turner’s sisters, described her as a kind, loving and gentle person who was begging the officer to leave her alone.
“She’s not a monster,” Dorsey-Jones said. “Don’t believe what they are saying.”
Tracy Frazier, another of Turner’s sister, said the family wants Delacruz to be held accountable.
“We’re coming for you,” Frazier said. “You’re going to have to answer.”
Turner’s daughter said she had just had a baby, which was Turner’s third grandchild.
Crump said that recent birth may have been the reason Turner could be heard shouting she was pregnant in the video of the shooting. Baytown police said Monday that she was not pregnant.
The family is having an independent autopsy conducted before her funeral, which is scheduled for noon May 23 at the Lilly Grove Baptist Church, Crump said. Turner’s body will then be taken to Fayette, Mississippi, where her family is located, for a second funeral.
Crump said family members have checked records and found no active warrants for Turner’s arrest. Court records showed at least one misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief was filed against Turner on May 2.
The Texas Rangers have taken charge of the investigation.
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