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Dean family speaks on charges for TPD officer

The family held a press conference following a meeting with District Attorney Henry Garza at the Bell County Justice Center.

BELTON, Texas —

Michael Dean’s family held a press conference one day after Officer Carmen DeCruz was charged with manslaughter in Dean’s death. This press conference came after a meeting between the family, their attorney Lee Merritt and District Attorney Henry Garza.

Merritt said manslaughter is not an appropriate charge but also acknowledged Garza has more access to evidence.

"At least he was being held accountable for my son's life being taken," Christine Dean, Michael's mother, said.

Merritt said the Dean family hopes a grand jury will indict DeCruz for murder.

"He seems content with the charge of manslaughter. We are not," Merritt said. 

Merritt said the family’s focus is on criminal accountability and said that civil liability is too often seen in cases like DeCruz’s.

Merritt also called comments about DeCruz as an officer from Interim Chief Jim Tobin at the press conference with the Temple Police Department Monday, “Absurd.”

"The city of Temple particularly Temple PD refuses to acknowledge policing in their community. One death is more than enough," Merritt said.

Dean's father Moses said he is thankful for the community and his kids for standing up for what is right.

"We got to keep on going. We all got to get out here and make sure it's safe for everybody in Temple, Texas," Moses said. 

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