HOUSTON – Houston police Officer Shane Privette has been indicted on a felony charge of aggravated assault which stems back to a case in 2017.
What the DA's Office is saying
Prosecutors with the Civil Rights Division in the Harris County District Attorney's Office said the incident happened on Nov. 14, 2017, when Privette assisted in the arrest of Dwayne Walker on a controlled substance charge.
“On Nov. 14, of 2017, during the course of an arrest, Privette kneed a gentleman, who was being arrested, in the face causing a blown out orbital,” said prosecutor with the Civil Rights Division, Michael Harrison.
Harrison said the Civil Rights Division received the case from HPD’s Internal Affairs several months after the initial incident.
"This case came to us through Internal Affairs of HPD. The process with the Civil Rights Division is a case comes to us and it is our duty to present the case to a grand jury. That happened yesterday (Wednesday) and they made the decision to the return the indictment,” Harrison said.
What HPOU is saying
Houston Police Officers Union President, Joe Gamaldi, claimed that Walker resisted arrest and attempted to flee from officers.
“The knee strikes that Privette utilized to gain control of the suspect are approved and trained by the Houston Police Department. They are acceptable within department procedures, training protocols and guidelines,” Gamaldi said.
During a news conference Thursday, Gamaldi called the indictment "questionable."
He said documents show HPD exonerated Privette in July 2018 of use of excessive force.
“A rigorous and thorough investigation, including body camera video, was done by the Houston Police Department and independent police oversight board and found no wrongdoing from Officer Privette. None,” Gamaldi said.
What Walker is saying
However, in March, Walker wrote a letter from jail asking for an address to HPD’s Internal Affairs Division to ask about what he described as "excessive use of force.”
Walker's attorney did not respond to KPRC2's request for comment.
According to HPD Police Chief Art Acevedo, Privette was relieved of duty pending further investigation.
Acevedo released the following statement to officers: