As of Monday, Michael Dean’s family, friends and city residents had waited 34 days for any information that would help them understand what happened to him on Dec. 2.
A petition started Thursday to demand answers and accountability from the city of Temple, Temple Police Department and Texas Rangers had pulled in more than 4,100 signatures by press time Monday.
The petition resulted from questions over the lack of information given after the Dec. 2 officer-involved shooting of 28-year-old Michael Dean of Temple.
Terris Goodwin started the petition on Change.org.
“I am imploring you all to stand up and let it be known that this is not OK and that we demand answers,” Goodwin said.
Goodwin asked Temple residents to demand accountability, transparency, reform and justice for Michael Dean, and she implored the city of Temple and Temple Police Department to stop refusing to “step up to the plate and do the right thing.”
The Temple branch of the NAACP held a protest Monday at the Belton Annex to spread more awareness throughout Bell County of what the Dean family is going through, President Bennie Walsh said.
Anything the community can do to bring attention to the issues in Temple will bring more attention to the problems, Walsh said.
The Bell County Annex is also where the Texas Rangers have an office.
The Rangers, the lead investigation agency, was aware of the protest but wouldn’t attend it, DPS Sgt. Bryan Washko said Monday.
As of press time Monday, neither the Texas Rangers nor the Temple Police Department had released any kind of narrative that explained anything that happened during a traffic stop that led to Dean’s violent death.
A brief report last week on the Texas Attorney General’s website said Dean was unarmed when he was shot in the head — by Temple Police Officer Carmen DeCruz, who is on paid administrative lead.
The manner of death was ruled a homicide, according to a preliminary autopsy report.
If a police officer kills someone in the line of duty, it is a homicide — but not necessarily a murder, according to the Institute of Forensic Sciences.
Dean “did not carry, exhibit or use a deadly weapon,” the report said.
Prayer services have been held in Temple to encourage peace, unity, justice and forgiveness in a city that is exasperated about the lack of communication between law enforcement agencies and Dean’s family.
A community meeting and march were held Dec. 11. The meeting began outside Temple City Hall, and a march made its way to the Temple Police Department.
The city of Temple asked for Temple residents to allow the facts and details of the incident to be investigated thoroughly and competently by an independent, neutral agency.