Hung Jury In Trial of Former Garland Texas Officer
In December 2016, we followed the trials of Michael Slager and Dylann Roof. There was also another trial.
In August 2012, Officer Patrick Tuter of Garland, Texas led a vehicle chase of unarmed 25 year old Michael Allen. Tuter fired at Michael 41 times, reloading several times and hitting Michael 3 times. The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Officer performed the autopsy and determined that Michael suffered gunshot wounds to his upper back, side, and left elbow.
Tuter’s official report was that he opened fired after Michael rammed a patrol car. The dashboard video however, showed that it was Tuter’s patrol car that rammed into Michael’s truck. Tuter fired his gun from the back, left-side of Michael’s truck.
Michael Allen’s body was pulled out of the cab of his truck by a K9 who chewed his face.
In March 2013, Tuter was fired for violating department policies on pursuits and use of force. He had been on the force 7 years.
In November, 2013, a grand jury indicted Tuter on a manslaughter charge which if convicted, is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Attorney Don Tittle has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Garland police department on behalf of Michael’s family.
“More and more, we’re learning that the account given by the police officer is not what actually occurred. That should be pretty alarming. It should certainly cause you to wonder in cases where there’s no video at all and the officer just claims that the person made an aggressive move and they may or may not find a weapon on the person.”
Tuter’s trial began on December 16, 2016.
Prosecutor Juan Sanchez stated about Tuter;
“He went past Garland’s way of taking care of things and went to Patrick Tuter’s way of taking care of things.”
Tuter’s defense attorney Robert Rogers argued that Tuter feared he would die, and he dehumanized Michael, painting a picture of him as a dangerous felon with meth in his system. A meth pipe was found in Michael’s car. To paint Tuter as using only the amount of force necessary to stop the threat, Rogers argued that there were bullets remaining in Tuter’s gun.
Several of Allen’s relatives sat in on the trial. His mother took the stand briefly to identify him in an autopsy photo and burst into tears.
Jurors saw police and helicopter dash cam video showing the chase and shooting. An officer who was present on the scene testified for the state, saying that Tuter acted recklessly, endangering other officers and residents. No officer fired their weapon other than Tuter.
The jury deliberated 6 hours. On December 19, 2016, they told the judge that they could not reach a decision. The judge declared a mistrial. Defense attorney Toby Shook told News 8 via Twitter that 9 jurors favored a “not guilty” ruling.
The Young Turks talk about the trial, and how White jurors are biased in acquitting law enforcement officers, regardless of the evidence and race of the suspect.