North Texas Daily

Bodycam footage from shooting death of Darius Tarver to be released after investigation is presented to a Denton County grand jury, police chief says

Bodycam footage from shooting death of Darius Tarver to be released after investigation is presented to a Denton County grand jury, police chief says

Bodycam footage from shooting death of Darius Tarver to be released after investigation is presented to a Denton County grand jury, police chief says
February 29
19:30 2020

After the Texas Rangers present their investigation to a Denton County grand jury, the Denton Police Department will release the officer body cam footage of the shooting death of Darius Tarver to the public, Denton Police Chief Frank Dixon said in a memorandum to the City Manager.

Dixon said the footage was not previously released at the recommendation of the Texas Rangers “in interest of preserving the integrity of the investigation.”

“I want to make clear that by having the Texas Rangers conduct the criminal investigation, the Denton Police Department is demonstrating our strong commitment to transparency and to having a thorough, unbiased investigation conducted by an unattached third party,” Dixon said in the memorandum. 

About 15 family members and supporters of Tarver, a criminal justice senior at UNT who was shot and killed by Denton police on Jan. 21 at The Forum apartment complex, protested outside the Denton County District Court on Feb. 24, calling for the release of the footage.

Kevin Tarver, Darius’ father, viewed the footage and said he found inconsistencies in Denton PD’s account of the shooting.

“I never saw my son stab an officer, [and] if I did, I would honestly say I saw that,” Kevin said in a previous North Texas Daily article. “I wasn’t the only one who saw that video. There was other clergy, so it’s not just my word.”

Dixon said he intends to meet with the Texas Rangers and Denton County District Attorney’s Office to “discuss options moving forward regarding officer-involved shootings.”

“I have and will continue to treat all criminal cases with the utmost respect, with an interest in the equitable application of the law,” Dixon said in the memorandum. “This includes making sure that the Constitutional rights of all involved, including the men and women of the Denton Police Department, are protected.”

Featured Image: Supporters at peaceful protest with the theme of “Release the Footage” begin to line up in from of Denton County sign on Feb. 24, 2020. Image by Bertha Angela Smith

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Brooke Colombo

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