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Temple mayor says he is 'ashamed' by communication issues in Michael Dean investigation

Posted at 8:11 PM, Feb 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-01 12:18:49-05

TEMPLE, TX — Temple Mayor Tim Davis says he's disappointed in the way the City has handled the investigation into the death of Michael Dean.

He says communication has been a huge issue and plans to restructure Temple's communication department by the end of the summer 2020.

Mayor Davis told 25 News an report filed to the Texas Attorney General's office on the Michael Dean shooting was released last night without him even knowing.

"The City doesn't have anything unless they have the trust of the citizens. I'm disappointed for the city, I'm embarrassed for the city," he said.

The report says on December 2, Temple officer Carmen DeCruz tried to pull 28-year-old Michael Dean over for speeding, but the 28-year-old did not stop and “a short pursuit ensued,” states the report city police filed.

Dean eventually pulled over and DeCruz, 52, approached his PT Cruiser. Then “there was an altercation of some sort between” the men, the report states, and during it the officer’s “service weapon discharged” striking Dean.

The report does not describe the “altercation” further. It’s “unknown” whether Dean attempted to injure the officer or others, according to the report, but the most serious offense he would have been charged is “evading in a vehicle.”

"We have not done a good job in this case since the beginning," said Mayor Davis.

25 News went by Officer DeCruz's house to see if he'd comment, but no one answered the door.

The Temple Police Department's Interim Police Chief Jim Tobin issued a statement saying, "The Temple Police Department brought in the Texas Rangers as the lead investigating agency to ensure we had an independent and transparent investigation that was not influenced by this agency.”

"Facts don't change. It doesn't matter if it's this particular case or any other case," said Tammy Bracewell, a criminal justice professor at Texas A&M Central Texas.

Bracewell says investigating what the facts are figuring out what exactly occurred takes time. She wants people to remain patient.

"I know that two months sounds like a really long time to the general public, but two months in the grand scheme of things into a complex investigation is not that long," said Bracewell.

She says time is essential for investigators to get the facts out, and that releasing any information too soon only leads to things being misconstrued.