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Local leaders point out similarities in death of Michael Dean following death of George Floyd

Michael Dean
Posted at 6:15 PM, Jun 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-01 12:18:48-05

TEMPLE, TX — As protests unfold across the country in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Central Texans may wonder what has happened to the officer involved death in Temple that took the life of Michael Dean.

A Texas Rangers investigation put the fault on Temple Police officer Carmen DeCruz, blaming him for Dean's death.

In the meantime, the Dean family, and an anxious community, waited for action, which a grand jury eventually provided with a manslaughter indictment against Cruz.

Community activist Reverend James Hill sees many parallels between Minneapolis and Temple.

"I would say, very much so, because it's the same behavior," he said.

A problem made worse by the city's very limited response, and even more limited release of information.

"We could have done a better job at the beginning of communicating but ultimately I think we caught up," said Temple Mayor Tim Davis, who adds the legacy of the Dean case will mean more and better crisis training for Temple Police.

"We have put into our budget, a process to develop a crisis management team and department. It has already been approved by city council," said the Mayor.

Community leaders say talk is cheap, and actions speak louder.

"It's not what you say in life that matters, it's what you do," said Hill.

As for the future, Reverend Hill says as what he calls short-tempered millennials take charge, violence could increase if the nation doesn't address its race relations problem.

"Our youth will not stand for it. I'll repeat myself they will not stand for it. This country will burn day in and day out until there's something done," he said.

While many questions still surround the case of Michael Dean, prosecutors and political leaders here insist the case will get a thorough review in court.