Texas Bill Aims To Ease Concerns About Bias Officer-Involved Sho - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Texas Bill Aims To Ease Concerns About Bias Officer-Involved Shooting Investigations

Wichita Falls, TX - Texas lawmakers are pushing for a bill that would mandate outside prosecutors handle investigations involving officer involved shootings. 

It comes in the wake of incidents like the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri.

Lawmakers believe this new law will help ease concerns about biased investigations by prosecutors.

Anytime there is an officer involved shooting in Wichita Falls, a local prosecutor oversees the investigation. Often times family members of victims feel they are not handled fairly. 

On Thursday, parents of children shot by Texas law enforcement expressed their concerns to lawmakers about the lack of indictments in officer-involved shootings.

The hearing was held by a new select committee on Emerging Issues In Texas Law Enforcement.

Democratic Representatives Harold Dutton, Jr. and Ron Reynolds of Houston have filed bills that would mandate officer-involved incidents and police misconduct be prosecuted by someone other the law enforcement officer's local district attorney's office.

Representative Dutton expressed to committee members that "perception of bias has to be eliminated from the system."  He also went on to say prosecutors are asked, "essentially to prosecute their friends." 

Last year, there were three officer involved shootings here in Wichita Falls. One in May, in the 2000 of Gloria Lane. The other two occurred within a one week span in July. The first in the 5500 block of Professional Drive and the last one of the year happened on N. Scott Street. 

In all of these officer involved shootings, local prosecutors said officers committed no wrongdoing.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6 
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