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City Manager: Texas Rangers prefer City does not release information related to officer-involved shooting investigation

Michael Dean
Posted at 10:31 PM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2020-12-01 12:18:57-05

TEMPLE, TX — Temple City Manager Brynn Myers addressed the call for information regarding a deadly officer-involved shooting saying the Texas Rangers, the investigating agency, prefer if the City does not release information regarding the case.

The statement comes after Mayor Tim Davis of Temple addressed the "human aspect" of the shooting that killed 28-year-old Michael Dean on December 2.

City Manager Myers began her statement by stating she was deeply saddened by Dean's loss and understands the family and community's need for information.

Myers said the criminal investigation process can take weeks or months as the Texas Rangers await forensic test results.

Myers stated upon completion of the investigation, the results will be presented to the Bell County Grand Jury for its review and consideration.

Myers then stated since the Temple Police Department is not conducting the investigation, they do not have many facts to disclose. Myers said the disclosure of incomplete information "often leads to speculation which can result in inaccurate conclusions among the public, including potential jurors." According to Myers, "the public interest is best served when facts lead the way," hence why the case was turned over to an independent investigating agency.

City Manager Myers said she previously told the Temple City Council as well as Temple residents that the Texas Rangers directed the City and police department not to release any information while the investigation is ongoing. Myers said this is what she understood the direction of the Rangers at the time.

However, Myers said she was shown a statement Thursday afternoon made by Sgt. Bryan Washko, Public Information Officer for the Texas Rangers. The statement read:

The Temple Police Department is not disclosing any information in regards to the open Texas Ranger investigation involving their officer, not at the request of the Texas Rangers, but at their own discretion not to jeopardize the ongoing open investigation.'

Myers said based on that statement, and at her request, the Temple Police Department spoke to the Texas Rangers and clarified the original direction given regarding the release of information.

Myers said while the Texas Rangers did not explicitly prohibit the City from releasing facts related to the case, it was clear they preferred the City follow standard procedures by not releasing information released to an investigation being conducted by an outside agency. Myers concluded by saying the City will continue to defer to the Texas Rangers as the investigating agency.

Full statement:

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of Mr. Dean and I understand the family and the community want and need to have information and answers to their questions. The City wants the same thing.

The criminal investigation process is currently underway, and I know the Texas Rangers are working hard to ensure a thorough investigation is completed as soon as possible. However, this process can take weeks or even months, as they wait for forensic test results. Upon completion of the Rangers’ investigation, the results will be presented to the Bell County Grand Jury for its review and consideration.

Because the Temple Police Department is not conducting the investigation, they do not have many facts to disclose. Disclosure of incomplete information often leads to speculation which can result in inaccurate conclusions among the public, including potential jurors. This can unfairly skew the public’s perception of the person who died or the officer who was involved. The public interest is best served when facts lead the way. That is why this case was turned over to an independent investigating agency in order to determine those facts.

I have previously told the City Council as well as residents of Temple that the Texas Rangers directed the City and the Temple Police Department not to release any information while their investigation was ongoing. That was what I understood the direction of the Rangers to be at the time. However, earlier this afternoon, I was shown this quote from Sgt. Bryan Washko, Public Information Officer for the Texas Rangers:

'The Temple Police Department is not disclosing any information in regards to the open Texas Ranger investigation involving their officer, not at the request of the Texas Rangers, but at their own discretion not to jeopardize the ongoing open investigation.'

Based on this statement, and at my request, the Temple Police Department spoke to the Texas Rangers today and clarified the original direction given regarding the release of information. While the Texas Rangers did not explicitly prohibit the City from releasing facts related to the case, it was clear they preferred we follow standard procedures by not releasing information related to an investigation being conducted by an outside agency. Therefore, we will continue to defer to the Texas Rangers as the investigating agency."