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'We expect justice': Dean family attorney asks for transparency after fatal officer-involved shooting

"We have no indication whatsoever as to what caused this officer-involved shooting other than a traffic stop," Attorney Lee Merritt said.

TEMPLE, Texas — An attorney representing the family of Michael Dean, a Temple man who was killed in an officer-involved shooting Monday night, called on Temple police and the district attorney to bring answers to the family.

Attorney Lee Merritt held a press conference Friday afternoon with Michael's family behind him.

RELATED: Family seeks answers after son killed in officer-involved shooting

Michael's family received very little information following the 28-year-old's death.

The shooting was reported at 8:12 p.m.Monday near the intersection of Loop 363 and Little River Rd.

Michael's mother, Christine Dean, said an officer showed up at her house at 1:30 a.m. to tell her that her son had died but didn't say anything about the circumstances that led to the shooting.

During Friday's press conference, the family still didn't have those answers.

"We have no indication whatsoever as to what caused this officer-involved shooting other than a traffic stop," Merritt said.

The attorney said the Temple Police Department, the Texas Rangers and the district attorney's office owe it to Michael's family and the community to provide answers. 

"They have an absolute obligation to provide every piece of information they know to make clear what caused a police officer to use deadly force against Michael Dean, a person we understand to be non-violent and unarmed," Merritt said. 

The family said they didn't even know exactly where Michael's body was. They said they originally believed it was in Dallas, but it is still in Temple.

Merritt said Friday that the body was in Dallas. 

"We're coordinating with the state to recover his body so that we can perform our own independent autopsy," Merritt said.

Merritt made clear he expects answers from District Attorney Henry Garza when he returns to Bell County.

"We understand Henry Garza is traveling," Meritt said. "The moment he gets back I expect him to meet with this family. We expect him to lay out what this family can expect in the coming days, weeks and months. We expect justice."

After Meritt's press conference, the Temple Police Department said interim chief Jim Tobin would be holding a press conference at 6 p.m. Friday in reference to the shooting.

At the press conference, Chief Jim Tobin stated the following: 

"I am Chief Jim Tobin of the Temple Police Department. I am here to update the community on the officer involved shooting that occurred on Monday, December 2nd. Today at 4 p.m., I met with Moses and Christine Dean, the parents of Michael Dean, to share the information that I am about to provide to you.

"It is a standard practice of the Temple Police Department to have all officer involved shootings investigated by the Texas Rangers. This is done to ensure an independent criminal investigation to determine if a crime has occurred. Upon the completion of the criminal investigation by the Texas Rangers, the department will conduct an internal investigation to determine if the officer’s action was within department policy. The procedures used by the department are designed to protect the integrity of both investigations.

"I understand the family has concerns and questions, as does the community. It is my goal to answer those questions thoroughly, and accurately following the completion of these investigations.

"I have made commitment to the parents of Michael Dean that we will provide them with updates as promptly as the information becomes available to me and I make the same commitment to the citizens of Temple.

"I acknowledge this is a tragic event for the Dean family and traumatic for the officer involved. We are asking for patience while these investigations are pending."

No other comments were given.

More than a week after the shooting, Temple police identified the officer involved as Carmen DeCruz.


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