Dallas Police Association Blasts DA Over Handling of Farmers Branch Cop Shooting

Michael Dunn
Michael Dunn Seagoville Police Department
Less than a day after a Dallas County grand jury indicted a Farmers Branch police officer for allegedly shooting a man as he drove away, the Dallas Police Association excoriated the process that led to the indictment.

On June 12, Michael Dunn and other Farmers Branch officers were watching a truck they believed to be stolen as it sat in a Dallas parking lot. When Dunn and the other officers began walking toward the truck, according to police, the driver of the truck, Juan Moreno Jr., began to pull out of the parking lot. At that point, Dunn pulled his gun and shot and killed Moreno.   
Because the shooting happened in Dallas, the Dallas Police Department's Special Investigative Unit investigated the case. The decision was made June 19 to refer a potential murder charge to the grand jury, according to DPD.

Late Wednesday night, according to Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot, the grand jury indicted Dunn for murder. Dunn subsequently turned himself in, in Seagoville, and he has since been released on $150,000 bail.

"Justice was done how it was supposed to be," Moreno's father, Juan Moreno Sr., told reporters at a press conference Thursday.

Mike Mata, president of the Dallas Police Association, strongly disagreed Thursday evening, repeatedly calling out the eight-day investigation that led to the indictment.

"My biggest concern is how we got there," Mata said. "How did we get to that grand jury? I know from my 25 years on this department ... We have never had an investigation completed in less than eight days ready to hand over to the DA. Never."

"We have never had an investigation completed in less than eight days ready to hand over to the DA. Never." — Mike Mata

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While officers shouldn't be treated better than an ordinary resident of Dallas County, Mata said, they shouldn't be treated any worse, either. The district attorney's office sacrificed Dunn's due process rights for political reasons, Mata said, pointing out that no indictments have been issued for any of the 40 murders that occurred in Dallas this June.

"What made this one different is," Mata said, "they got video. Well, I've got news, for one, there is no perfect police shooting. It's never going to look good. I will admit, that video does not look good. It's troubling, but that should not circumvent the process."

In a statement, Creuzot praised the process that led to the indictment.

"The District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit presented the case of a Farmers Branch Police Officer who was involved in a deadly shooting on June 12, 2019. Late (Wednesday), a Dallas County grand jury indicted Farmers Branch Police Officer Michael Dunn for murder in the death of Juan Moreno exactly two weeks to the day of the shooting," Creuzot said. "This restores confidence in the community that the system can work quickly, fairly and efficiently."
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young