TEMPLE, TX — The Temple Chief of Police, staff and members of the police department are reviewing policies, procedures and training following the deaths of Michael Dean and George Floyd.
Chief Shawn M. Reynolds began his letter by stating the use of force applied during the arrest of George Floyd was "unreasonable, improper and does not represent tactics that are taught or supported by the Temple Police Department."
The chief said police cannot be successful without community support, which begins with having an "ongoing, authentic relationship between the community and the police."
Chief Reynolds then addressed the death of Michael Dean, who was shot and killed by a now former Temple PD officer during a traffic stop. The chief said, "We understand that members of our community have legitimate concerns regarding that incident."
Dean was shot and killed on December 2, 2019. Carmen DeCruz resigned from the department on February 19 and was indicted for manslaughter on March 19. Following his indictment, DeCruz had his bond reduced to $80,000. He then posted a commercial bond.
Chief Reynolds said, "We are confident that many of the outstanding concerns will be answered through the judicial process."
He went on to say that he, staff and members of Temple PD have begun a review of policies, procedures and training "to ensure that we are providing the most up-to-date best practices, expectations and training to the dedicated members of the Temple Police Department." Chief Reynolds said, "our officers have tools, such as body cameras, policies that cover biased based policing and are committed to a community that must flourish."
A protest in honor of Dean has been scheduled for Friday, June 5 at 6:30 p.m. Regarding the protest and other protests across the country, Chief Reynolds said the department "fully supports the First Amendment rights of the people to peacefully assemble, but placing fellow residents in danger and destroying property overshadows the message of social progress."
"As human beings, we are all fallible and capable of error and I am no different. However, I am committed to a culture in our police department based on our values and those of our community. I also want to remind anyone who feels they have been mistreated or marginalized to please contact our police department directly," said Chief Reynolds.
To read the full letter, click here.