A Tarrant County grand jury has indicted an Arlington Police Department officer in the shooting death of a 24-year-old man who tried to drive away from a traffic stop in September 2018.
Arlington police Officer Julie Herlihy pulled O'Shea Terry over because he had expired temporary tags on his SUV. Officer Bau Tran came to help with the traffic stop after Herlihy decided to search Terry's car. Tran waited on the passenger side of the car as Herlihy went back to her police car.
Video of the incident shows someone inside Terry's car rolling up the windows as Tran waits nearby. Tran yells for the SUV to stop, stops the window with his arm, then pulls his arm out to draw his gun. As the SUV appears to start moving, he fires four shots into the vehicle, hitting and killing Terry.
The lawyer representing Terry's family, civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, celebrated the grand jury's decision.
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"Criminal indictments for cops are incredibly rare from Tarrant County," Merritt said on Twitter. "This is just a start but a step in the right direction. We will continue to fight!"
Tran is on leave pending APD's administrative investigation of the shooting.
“The Grand Jury’s decision, irrespective of the outcome, is viewed as an additional factual piece of information to consider by those responsible for the administrative investigation of this incident,” the department said in a press release. “We anticipate that the outcome of the administrative investigation will be concluded within the next few weeks."
Criminally negligent homicide is punishable by a sentence of between six months and two years under Texas law.