Two Dallas Police Department officers who shot civilians during Black Lives Matter protests in May 2020 have been issued arrest warrants by the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.
Dallas County Criminal District Attorney John Creuzot announced Wednesday he was filing multiple criminal charges against one current and one former Dallas police senior corporal.
Former Senior Corporal Melvin Williams was employed by the police department during the 2020 protests, but was fired last month “for violating the department’s use of force policy on a separate incident,” the Dallas Police Department said on Facebook.
The other officer, Senior Corporal Ryan Mabry, has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal affairs administrative investigation, according to police.
Mabry is facing three felony charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon by a public servant and three misdemeanor charges of official oppression for shooting three different individuals with a 40-millimeter launcher on May 30, 2020, during protests following the death of George Floyd, the District Attorney’s office said.
One of the people Mabry shot that night was Brandon Saenz, who lost his left eye and suffered severe injuries to his mouth and head as a result, his attorney Daryl Washington said. Washington said Saenz has undergone several surgeries due to his injuries.
“Obviously we are very happy that the district attorney’s office stuck with this case,” Washington told USA TODAY.
POLICING THE USA:I’ve seen enough police abuse in my career to know qualified immunity harms good cops
‘IT’S JUST APPALLING’:Louisiana State Police trooper fired for speaking out about a Black man’s death in custody and cover-up
The charges will give Saenz and his family some kind of relief, his attorney said, but “Justice for Brandon would be able to see out of both of his eyes.”
He expressed frustration at the many hoops he had to jump through to find the officer who shot Saenz. “Police officers cannot remain silent when they know a crime has been committed,” Washington said.
Williams, the former officer, was charged Wednesday with similar crimes as Mabry: two felony counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon by a public servant, and four misdemeanor counts of official oppression. The former officer shot three people with a 40-millimeter launcher on May 30, 2020, including a man that Mabry also shot that night, according to the District Attorney’s office.
Vincent Doyle, who was shot by Williams, suffered a shattered cheek and was left with 40% visibility in his left eye, according to a lawsuit filed against the city of Dallas in June 2020.
One of Williams’ misdemeanor charges of official oppression stems from the assault of a man on July 18, 2021 — the incident that resulted in his firing on Jan. 25, CBS reported.
An 85-page report released by the Dallas Police Department in August 2020 analyzing protests and police response during Black Lives Matter protests earlier that year detailed the “errors, miscalculations and shortcomings” of the police response to protests in late May and early June, according to ABC.
“People were simply exercising their first amendment right when these officers basically terrorized them,” Washington told USA TODAY.
200 miles away in Austin, Texas, a Travis County grand jury is considering charges against as many as 18 Austin Police Department officers for their actions during the May 2020 George Floyd protests, according to the Austin American-Statesman, part of the USA TODAY Network.
According to the Dallas Police Department, Mabry and Williams are both expected to turn themselves into the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department.