A suburban Dallas police officer was charged with homicide for shooting a 24-year-old black man during the traffic stop. The Tarrant County grand jury indicted Bau Tran eight months after the incident. As North Texas county is considered to be historically conservative one, prosecution of a police officer is a rare case there.
Tran shot O’Shae Terry on September 1 after Terry was pulled over by another police officer over registration violations. They talked for a few minutes and then Terry tried to roll up the passenger-side window and drive away. The officer grabbed the window and fired multiple shots. Terry died in a hospital.
“We are certainly happy that there will be a chance for some form of justice in this case,” said Terry’s attorney Lee Merritt. “But if anyone else had done this it would have been a murder,” he added.
Randy Moore, Tran’s lawyer, claimed that the officer could smell marijuana in the car and “felt his life was in danger.” Merritt admitted there was marijuana in the car and the registration was expired, yet “none of these mistakes should have been fatal.”
Bau Tran convicted on the charge of criminally negligent homicide will get a sentence between 180 days and two years in jail.
Natalia Veselnitskaya – official website