A grand jury in Texas indicted a police officer Monday in a fatal shooting of a Black woman after a struggle outside the apartment complex where they both lived in May 2019.
Baytown Officer Juan Delacruz was charged with aggravated assault by a public servant more than a year after he shot Pamela Turner, 44, during an altercation over the officer’s stun gun. Delacruz will be given a chance to turn himself in and could face up to five years in prison if convicted, according to prosecutors.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg called Turner’s death a tragedy. “It is important to acknowledge that her family and the community are in pain,” Ogg said in a statement.
Delacruz was patrolling the complex, located about 25 miles east of Houston, and tried to arrest Turner because they’d had “prior dealings” and he knew she had outstanding warrants, Lt. Steve Dorris told in reporters in 2019. Court records showed three outstanding misdemeanor warrants against Turner at the time.
Dorris said Delacruz then shot Turner after she shocked him with his Taser. The shooting was captured on video by a bystander.
“I’m walking, I’m actually walking to my house,” Turner tells Delacruz in the video, which was obtained by local news outlets. “You’re actually harassing me.”
Turner falls to the ground as Delacruz stands over her and tries to grab her arms. She yells “I’m pregnant” shortly before the officer backs away. Then the video stops but the audio continues. Five gunshots can be heard.
From 2019: Officer fatally shoots woman who allegedly grabbed his Taser in incident caught on video
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Greg Cagle, Delacruz’s attorney, told the Associated Press he believed the case against his client was being motivated by politics. Delacruz was defending himself when he shot Turner, Cagle said.
“When someone takes a police officer’s taser and then uses it against them, the officer is left with no options other than deadly force. That’s how the officers are trained,” he said.
Police have said Turner was not pregnant. Ben Crump, a lawyer for Turner’s family and several other high profile victims of police brutality, said last year that she had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and Delacruz knew his neighbor suffered from mental illness. Local media has reported that the specific model of Taser could not have fired a second set of darts.
“He absolutely knew that Taser could not be fired again without her changing the cartridge,” Crump, told Houston Public Media in 2019. “And he did not have to use deadly force while she was laying on her back.”
Delacruz, who was hired in 2008, was placed on paid leave after the shooting and returned to work less that two weeks later. The department said he’d be on administrative duty while the Texas Rangers and the civil rights division of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office investigated the shooting.
The charge against Delacruz comes after months of protests over racism and police violence around the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd in May. Nationwide, advocates are calling for changes to policing, including an end to the practice of having police officers respond to mental health calls after the recent police killing of Daniel Prude, a 41-year-old Black man who suffered from acute mental health problems, and the shooting of Linden Cameron, a 13-year-old boy with autism.
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Contributing: The Associated Press
Follow N’dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pamela Turner shooting: Texas officer indicted on assault charge
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Trump’s refusal to commit to peaceful transfer of power provokes outrage, rebukes on Capitol Hill
President Trump’s stunning refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose the election to Joe Biden was met with outrage from congressional Democrats — and implicit rebukes from Republicans.
At a press conference in the White House press briefing room on Wednesday, Trump was asked directly about the transfer of power.
“Mr. President, real quickly, win, lose or draw in this election, will you commit here today for a peaceful transferral of power after the election?” asked reporter Brian Karem. “There has been rioting in Louisville, there has been rioting in many cities across this country, red and… your so-called red and blue states — will you commit to making sure that there is a peaceful transferral of power after the election?”
“Well, we’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump responded. I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.”
“I understand that, but people are rioting,” Karem said. “Do you commit to making a peaceful transferral of power…”
“Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly, there will be a continuation,” Trump said. “The ballots are out of control. You know it, and you know who knows it better than anybody else? The Democrats know it better than anybody else.”
After taking a few more questions, Trump abruptly ended the press conference, saying he needed to take an “emergency call.”
Asked about the remarks, Biden appeared almost speechless late Wednesday.
“What country are we in? I’m being facetious,” he told reporters. “I said what country are we in? Look, he says the most irrational things. I don’t know what to say.”
“This is what an authoritarian sounds like,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders of Trump’s comments. Sanders was set to give a speech Thursday afternoon on what he called the president’s “unique threats to our democracy.”
“We have a president of the United States who wants to discredit people’s vote,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday morning. “Really? Really? What would our founders think? And what are these Republicans going to say to their children and their grandchildren when they ask them what did you do to strengthen our democracy when it was questioned as to whether an election was a proper way to transfer power in our country.
“I don’t know why the press doesn’t make more of this, to be very honest with you,” added Pelosi. “If he says that people swallow Clorox, we hear about it for the rest of our lives, but he’s trying to have the Constitution of the United States swallow Clorox — I appreciate these questions all of you have this morning I guess provoked by the arrogance and the disregard for the Constitution of the president’s statement last night.”
In an interview with Fox News radio on Thursday morning, Trump reiterated his refusal to commit to the results and again suggested the election would be determined by the Supreme Court.
“Oh, that I would agree with [the court’s ruling], but I think we have a long way before we get there,” the president said. “These ballots are a horror show.”
Republicans did not explicitly condemn Trump’s comments or mention the president by name but reinforced the importance of a peaceful transition of power.
“The winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20th,” wrote Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Thursday morning. “There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792.”
“Fundamental to democracy is the peaceful transition of power; without that, there is Belarus,” Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah tweeted Wednesday evening. “Any suggestion that a president might not respect this Constitutional guarantee is both unthinkable and unacceptable.”
Earlier this week, Romney said he supported holding a vote on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
“As we have done for over two centuries we will have a legitimate & fair election,” tweeted Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida on Thursday morning. “It may take longer than usual to know the outcome, but it will be a valid one and at noon on Jan 20,2021 we will peacefully swear in the President.”
Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio said Thursday morning that “both candidates must commit to abiding by the results, no matter the outcome,” although Biden has not called the validity of the election into question.
“The peaceful transfer of power is enshrined in our Constitution and fundamental to the survival of our Republic,” tweeted Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, a member of the GOP House leadership. “America’s leaders swear an oath to the Constitution. We will uphold that oath.”
On Fox News Thursday morning, Sen. Lindsey Graham made assurances that the transfer of power would be peaceful and said if the Supreme Court were to decide that Biden won, he would accept the result.
However, he said the potential of the election winding up in the Supreme Court was more reason to confirm Trump’s replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg. If Republicans are successful in confirming a conservative justice to replace Ginsburg, it would mean six of the nine justices were appointed by Republicans, with three of them appointed by Trump himself.
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Machine Gun Kelly fell ‘in love for the first time’ with Megan Fox: ‘I was like, whoa’
Megan Fox is Machine Gun Kelly’s first true love. The rapper, real name Colson Baker, opened up to Howard Stern about his new relationship and explained he didn’t believe this type of love “could ever exist” before meeting the Transformers star.
“I didn’t know what [love] was until me and her made eye contact,” Kelly shared on Wednesday’s The Howard Stern Show on SiriusXM. “That’s when I was like, ‘Whoa.’”
Kelly, 30, and Fox, 34, met earlier this year filming the movie Midnight in the Switchgrass. They were first caught by paparazzi in May causing the actress’s estranged husband, Brian Austin Green, to publicly confirm he and Fox had separated. According to Kelly, he’s in love for the first time with Fox.
“After I made the big chunk of the album [Tickets to my Downfall], I did fall in love for the first time,” Kelly told Stern. “That was my first experience with being open to love and stuff like that. I definitely wasn’t set up to believe that that’s something that could ever exist.”
When asked by Stern if it was love at first sight, Kelly said, “Yeah, for sure.”
And it sounds like these two are in it for the long haul. When Stern joked he’d like to see Pete Davidson as their best man one day, Kelly replied, “Yeah, I’m down with that.”
However, there’s one downside to their buzzy romance: the media frenzy.
“My house isn’t gated, you know? So that’s the one problem,” Kelly explained. “Everyone knows where my house is, so it’s like this odd moment, where I was kinda living my life super normal and the next day, there were paparazzi outside my house every day.”
Kelly also noted how “there’s this God energy all-around” them. He gave an example about how he wanted to spend one more night with Fox before they had to go their separate ways. Kelly recalled how there was a hurricane warning — so he talked to a tree about moving the hurricane.
“I asked this tree, ‘You gotta move this hurricane. I have to have one more day with this person, I can’t leave early,’” he shared. “I felt like the whole universe at that point could feel… that I was fighting for love. I woke up the next day and the hurricane was over.”
Spirituality is something the stars have in common as Fox has referred to Kelly as her “twin flame.”
While appearing on Lala Kent and Randall Emmett’s podcast Give Them Lala… With Randall, Fox knew she had a connection with Kelly before even meeting him.
“I was like, ‘Who is going to play this role?’ And [Emmett] was like, ‘Oh, we just got Machine Gun Kelly,’ and immediately, I was like, ‘Uh oh,’” Fox recalled, noting it was before they met. “Because I knew. I could feel that some wild s*** was going to happen to me from that meeting, but I wasn’t yet sure what. I just felt it like, deep in my solar plexus that something was going to come from that.”
Fox said she believes Kelly is her “twin flame,” which has more meaning than soulmate.
“The second I was in a room with him and said hello to him and looked into his eyes, I knew right away that he was what I call a twin flame,” she added. “Instead of a soul mate, a twin flame is actually where a soul has ascended into a high enough level that it can be split into two different bodies at the same time. So we’re actually two halves of the same soul, I think. And I said that to him almost immediately, because I felt it right away.”
Sounds like these two are on the same page.
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