HOUSTON - A former Harris County Sheriff's Office deputy has been indicted in connection with the death of Danny Thomas.
Cameron Brewer is charged with aggravated assault by a public servant.
“There is always a lot of emotion surrounding such a death but when it happens at the hand of a government official in a free country it creates even greater concern,” said Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg.
Brewer was fired by the sheriff's office in April.
In the March 22 shooting, Thomas was wearing his pants around his ankles, talking to himself and hitting vehicles with his hands as they passed by.
The deputy stopped his vehicle and advised Thomas to stop. He attempted to use other verbal commands, but Thomas approached the deputy in an aggressive manner, deputies said.
The deputy shot Thomas one time in the chest, deputies said. Thomas was pronounced dead at Houston Northwest Medical Center.
"Our democracy depends on the public's trusting that police are here to protect us," Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said. "When they exceed their lawful authority, our community holds them accountable, and that's exactly what this grand jury of ordinary citizens did."
Ogg said she expects Brewer will turn himself into law enforcement after prosecutors consult with his attorney.
If convicted, Brewer faces the same punishment of between five years and life in prison as if he had been charged with murder, Ogg said.
“Officers have difficult jobs they perform them well almost all the time. but in this case the officer used unlawful force, he disregarded his training, and a man who was innocent died,” Ogg said.
Ogg said this is the first time a law enforcement official has been indicted in connection with an officer-involved shooting in Harris County since 2008.
Markeeta Thomas, Thomas’ sister, told KPRC today’s indictment is bittersweet and that she and her family plan to get together soon to make a public statement about the indictment. They plan on gathering at the scene of the fatal shooting in the next few days.
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