HOUSTON - A Harris County grand jury has indicted a Houston police officer over a November 2017 incident involving the arrest of a man wanted on charges of delivery of a controlled substance; cocaine.
Officials with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office said Officer Shane Privette was indicted on a charge of aggravated assault by a public servant. His mug shot was released on Tuesday.
What we know
The arrest involved Dewayne Walker, 52, and who, court records show, pleaded guilty to the drug charges and was sentenced to 10 months in state jail.
Court records show Walker was sentenced in March 2018, but in March of this year he sent a letter to the court asking for the findings of the internal affairs investigation “into the excessive use of force which occurred on my Nov. 14, 2017, arrest.”
What the DA's Office says
The DA's Office said Privette struck Walker in the face with his knee during an encounter in a gas station parking lot.
The case is being prosecuted by the Civil Rights Division of the Harris County District Attorney's Office.
What HPD says
Police Chief Art Acevedo sent a statement to KPRC which reads: “We learned of the indictment today and immediately relieved the officer of duty pending further investigation and proceedings of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Pursuant to this being a criminal investigation that has resulted in an indictment, there will be no further comment regarding the case.”
Court records show Walker has a prior criminal history dating back to 1985 for charges including theft, burglary of a motor vehicle and assaulting a family member.
What legal analyst says
"That mug shot may speak volumes about how the complaining witness looked afterward, but it says absolutely nothing about how the complaining witness interacted with this officer," KPRC2 legal analyst Brian Wice said.
Brian Wice said that while the mugshot doesn’t look good, what remains unknown is how exactly things played out. He added that Walker has a rap sheet spanning nearly three decades.
"With all due respect, this guy had a prior criminal history that is as long as a coast-to-coast Amtrak ticket. I counted 19 separate arrests," Wice said.
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