KILLEEN, TX — The attorney for the family of Patrick Warren, Sr. as well as members of the community held nothing back during press conferences Thursday, demanding the arrest of the Killeen PD officer responsible for Warren's death.
“There’s no reason that a mental health call like this should result in a fatality," explained Lee Merritt, attorney for the Warren family.
Warren was shot and killed by a Killeen Police officer after a psychiatric call Sunday
During a press conference, Merritt said there's no need to wait for a grand jury's decision and that the officer involved should be behind bars.
“He [Warren] was in his rights to reject for services of law enforcement after they arrived. Their responsibility was simply to leave or stand up appropriate personnel to deal with this particular crisis. They failed his family in every way and it’s left them shattered," Merritt said.
The attorney went on to say that the family is calling for the termination and arrest of the officer responsible. Several community members also held a press conference Thursday demanding the same.
"It is up for each and everyone of us in this Black community right now to stand with each other and hold the officer accountable, make sure he is punished to the full us extent of the law," said Travis Johnson of Killeen.
Many also questioned why the Killeen Police Department did not have extra resource officers, who trained to deal with the mental health calls, available that weekend. Now, the communtiy is calling for change.
“They [Killeen PD] did not deserve any additional funding, but they’ve been giving it anyway. This is why the police department needed to be defunded. Take that money and educate these people properly," said Rosalyn Finley of Killeen.
“The City of Killeen has a history of people with mental health issues not receiving the care they needed and resulting in calamity. They have a decade for the Killeen Police Department to prepare for this exact situation. We will hold the Killeen Police Department accountable. We will hold the City of Killeen accountable until they develop mental health services for the vulnerable population here so there’s not another Patrick Warren," said Merritt.
The officer involved, Officer Reynaldo Contreras, remains on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation.