Lawyer will no longer pursue police brutality claim against Harker Heights Police Department

Posted at 9:55 PM, Jan 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-10 10:57:58-05

The lawyer of a woman arrested for public intoxication, who said her injuries were from being assaulted by an officer during the arrest, said he will no longer pursue this case. 

Lee Merritt, who is based in Pennsylvania but has law offices in Dallas, said the absence of circumstantial evidence that a violent attack occurred coupled with significant evidence that his client Leah Dure suffered serious injury to her face prior to her arrest makes a further pursuit of the police brutality claim untenable. 

Merritt said that Dure reached out to him after the incident that happened on Jan. 1. Dure and her family shared the pictures of Dure and her injuries, as well as Dure's account of what happened. 

Harker Heights Police Department held a press conference Tuesday afternoon disputing the claim, saying that the injuries were actually from a fight that Dure had had with her boyfriend's wife. 

On Tuesday, Central Texas News Now received the arrest affidavit of Dure. The affidavit said that on New Year’s Day, an officer was dispatched to 850 W. Central Texas Expressway for a disturbance. When the officer arrived, a car was parked in the ambulance bay.

Merritt said that he wants the arrest video and that the investigation is ongoing and will continue to represent Dure since there is no evidence disproving her claims. His Facebook post was later deleted. 

Tuesday evening, the Law Office of Robert M. McCabe posted on Facebook asking for an apology and retraction of the social media post made accusing Officer Joshua Wood of assaulting Dure. 

Central Texas News Now reached out to McCabe's office. McCabe said that he currently represents Wood in the administrative case and have discussed the likelihood of pursuing a civil suit if there is no retraction. 

"At this point, we are hopeful that Mr. Merritt will admit his error and issue a full retraction of the false and reckless narrative he published on Facebook," said McCabe. 

After dropping the claim, Merritt added "In almost every civil rights case I’ve ever worked, false charges were dropped against my clients by the city. In no case I’ve ever worked has the city or their attorneys issued an apology to the wrongfully accused. Ever."

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