By Alex Fulton KWTX
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 8:25 PM CST
TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - The jury in the trial of Carmen DeCruz, a former Temple police officer charged with manslaughter in the 2019 fatal shooting of a Black man during a traffic stop, on Wednesday got a graphic look at the moments before and after Michael Dean’s death.
For the first time, the jury and the public got a glimpse of the former police officer’s body cam footage from that night. The video from the courtroom showed DeCruz step out of his car with his gun drawn, approach the passenger side of Dean’s car, shouting “stop right there” and “open it up.”
Dean eventually complies and DeCruz reaches into his car, with his gun still drawn, shouting “give me the keys.” As Dean gives DeCruz his keys he is then shot and killed.
“You’ve heard it said that a picture is worth a thousand words, well a video is worth a million,” Vic Feazell, a former McLennan County district attorney, told KWTX News 10.
Dean’s family showed up to the courtroom in the afternoon, after the footage was shown. They stepped out of the courtroom before the state showed any footage of Dean’s body and the moments leading up to his death.
“Things that you don’t think of set them off in the courtroom,” Lee Merritt, the Dean family attorney, said. “His brother is a big tough army guy and he was in tears next to me.”
Another bit of new information came from the medical examiner. She revealed on the stand that at the time of his death, Dean was .2 blood alcohol level. For comparison, .08 is considered legally drunk. Dean’s body also had traces of marijuana in his system.
As this trial continues Merritt wants to see people called to the stand who can speak on Dean’s character.
“His mother, mother of his children, brother who is a veteran, anyone who can humanize him in this case,” he said.