There will be no state charges a Texas police officer who shot and killed a man experiencing a mental health crisis.
“On May 19, 2021, the Texas Rangers presented the case to the Bell County Grand Jury for review and after deliberation, no prosecution will take place against Officer Reynaldo Contreras,” the Killeen Police Department said in a statement Friday.
Officer Reynaldo Contreras responded to a call involving Patrick Lynn Warren Sr., 52, on January 10, 2020. This was a psychiatric call regarding the “emotionally distressed” man, police said at the time. The officer first used his taser, but then resorted to his gun when that did not work, police said.
“Upon the officer’s arrival, he encountered an emotionally distressed man,” cops wrote. “The officer initially used his conducted energy weapon, which was ineffective, and then discharged his duty weapon during the encounter, striking the subject.”
Warren died on the way to the hospital. His wife Bobbie Warren demanded the arrest of Contreras. Family said at the time that previous mental health calls did not result in police arriving at the scene.
Their attorney S. Lee Merritt says that they are pursuing charges at the federal level, according to KXXV. He criticized the investigation into Warren’s death.
“It’s normal for the witnesses who are present to testify before the grand jury,” he said. “So I anticipated that they would contact my client and say, ‘Well, you know, on this day we’re going to Grand Jury, you all will be witnesses. When that phone call never happened, I know how this investigation was going.”
Patrick Warren Jr. said that his family was devastated at the lack of charges.
“Yeah, my mom is devastated right now. My family is devastated,” he told the outlet. “Certain people in my family, we were trying to hold the news from because we don’t want them to break down. We can’t get any questions answered. I’m crushed.”
Police directed questions toward the Bell County District Attorney’s Office. Law&Crime left a message with prosecutors.
[Screengrab via KCEN]
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