BAYTOWN, Texas — The Baytown police chief said the department is turning over its investigation into a deadly officer-involved shooting to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Pamela Turner, 44, was shot and killed by an officer Monday night at the Brixton apartments in Baytown.
Police Chief C. Keith Doughtery said Wednesday he asked the Texas Rangers to lead the investigation and turned over the evidence collected so far.
Dougherty asked for the public's patience after acknowledging its demand for transparency in the case.
Baytown PD's Internal Affairs Division is still conducting its internal review of the shooting.
The officer told his colleagues he'd been patrolling the apartments when he saw the Turner, with whom he had previous encounters. The officer said he knew Turner had outstanding warrants, so he approached her to arrest her.
Police said there was a struggle and the officer used his Taser on Turner. As he tried to take her into custody, Turner managed to get control of the Taser, and she allegedly used it on the officer.
The officer then pulled his gun and shot her at least once.
The witness video appears to show the woman on the ground when about five gunshots ring out. Police said the officer attempted to render aid to the woman, but Turner died at the scene.
A memorial is there now.
Turner’s daughter and residents of this apartment complex are promising to keep her memory alive.
Trae the Truth, a local rap artist, says he’ll do same.
“I don’t want this to be a situation where it’s swept under the rug,” he says.
At a small rally nearby, community activists are saying the deadly confrontation between Turner and the unidentified Baytown police officer wasn’t justified.
The shooting, captured on cellphone video, went viral on social media.
Turner’s family says she suffered from paranoid schizophrenia – that it was widely-known in the community and by Baytown police from previous encounters with her.
A lawyer working with the family says the officer violated protocol.
“You don’t approach someone who is suffering from a mental health condition the same way you approach the average citizen,” the family’s attorney Lee Merritt says.
Police say the officer, an 11-year veteran, opened fire after Turner grabbed his Taser and used it against him.
“I believe that the 4th Amendment was violated, because he made the decision to shoot not just once, but five times,” Merritt says.
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