A Dallas County Texas grand jury indicted a Mesquite police officer with felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for shooting an unarmed Black man he assumed was breaking into a truck but was actually trying to turn off the alarm of his own vehicle, NBC News Dallas reported.
Justin Moore, one of the attorneys for the victim Lyndo Jones, said his client wasn’t “too thrilled” with the indictment because District Attorney Faith Johnson should not have “punted to the grand jury.”
“Her giving the grand jury the duty to issue the indictment shows that she does not have any fidelity to the people of Dallas County. She punted to citizens and, luckily enough, they ran that punt back and scored a touchdown today,” Moore said.
According to the original police report, officers were responding on Nov. 8 to a possible vehicle burglary. They encountered Jones in a truck when they arrived, and Officer Derick Wiley shot him in a scuffle. They claimed Jones was trying to run away, so they charged him with misdemeanor evading arrest and had him transported to the hospital where they kept him handcuffed to his hospital bed. Jones’ attorneys dispute that story, arguing that Wiley shot Jones within 10 seconds of arriving at the scene and a second time in the back while their client was lying on the ground. After an internal investigation, officials suspended Wiley for violating police department policy.
Attorney Lee Merritt, who also represents Jones, said his team had pressed Johnson for a month to file criminal charges against Wiley, adding that he’s “not positive that this office is capable of a zealous prosecution of a law enforcement officer.” Johnson dismissed Merritt’s concerns and stated that he didn’t have all the facts. If convicted, Wiley faces between five and 99 years in prison.