Garland Cop Charged With Manslaughter After Firing on Chase Suspect 41 Times

At first, the official story of what happened in the early morning hours of August 31, 2012, was that 25-year-old Michael Vincent Allen had led police on a high-speed chase through Garland and Mesquite before being herded into a cul de sac. In a last-ditch attempt to escape, he rammed a Garland PD squad car. The cop inside, fearing for his life, opened fire, killing Allen.

Within two weeks, the narrative had been revised. Vincent hadn't rammed the cop; the cop had rammed him. The "multiple rounds" the officer had fired became 41, with two pauses to reload.

See also: Cardan Spencer, Dallas Officer Who Shot Mentally Ill Man, Fired and May Face Charges

The officer, a seven-year Garland PD veteran named Patrick Tuter, was placed on administrative leave and ultimately fired after an internal affairs investigation concluded the he'd violated the department's use-of-force and pursuit policies. Tuter had initiated the chase after discovering that Allen was wanted for drug possession, assault and evading arrest, and Tuter was the only cop on scene to fire his weapon.

On Monday, a Dallas County grand jury indicted Tuter today for manslaughter. The Dallas Morning News' Tanya Eiserer reports that it's the first time in 17 years that Dallas County has indicted an officer in a fatal police shooting. In the previous case, a Grand Prairie police officer was acquitted on a murder charge for killing a mentally ill man who lunged at another officer with a knife.

If convicted, Tuter faces up to 20 years in prison. A wrongful death lawsuit filed against Tuter is pending in federal court.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson