MESQUITE (CBSDFW.COM) – First the North Texas police officer who shot a man as he sat in his pickup, trying to get the alarm to stop sounding, was placed on “indefinite suspension.” Then on Wednesday, Derick Wiley, an officer with the Mesquite Police Department, was was indicted by a Dallas County Grand Jury.
Today, Police Chief Charles Cato gave some details into the investigation of how truck owner Lyndo Jones ended up with at least two bullets inside him and the process that lead to Officer Wiley being fired and ultimately indicted.
Chief Cato talked about the departments communication and exchange of information with the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. “I’ve always believed, and I’ve been a police officer for 29 years, we are the gatherer of the facts and grand jury is the arbiter of those facts,” he said.
After turning the case file, minus the narrative of Officer Wiley, over to the DA Chief Cato said panels with the department were convened to look at the case. Citing that there are rights an procedures that have to be followed before any action can be taken against a police officer, the Chief again stressed that the indictment of Officer Wiley was not and should not have happened any faster.
Wiley was ultimately fired for three violations of the department’s policies.
“Procedural justice is important, it’s an absolute must if we’re gonna have the trust and legitimacy that we desire as an organization from the public and I want to have the trust and legitimacy that I want to have with the men and women of this organization,” he said. “Everybody needs to know that they’re gonna get a fair shake and they’re gonna get an opportunity to present the facts and they’re gonna get an opportunity to tell they’re story and that’s what they did. That’s what took to this point… there was no attempt to hide anything, to cover-up anything.”
The chief said everyone in the department did everything they “we’re supposed to do to protect the integrity of this investigation,” and that everyone must be accurate and complete above all else.
The Chief said, “Two-hundred-eighteen police officers here in the Mesquite Police Department work very, very hard everyday. I ask a lot of them. I ask of them to go out everyday and put their lives on the line. They put their lives at risk and I owe them the opportunity to present their information, in their administrative process and in the criminal process.”
Wiley, 31, was essentially fired after a police department Internal Affairs investigation revealed he had violated department policy.
His indictment centers around a call police received on November 8. Someone reported that a man was breaking into a vehicle and setting of its alarm in the 1300 block of South Town East Boulevard.
When Officer Wiley arrived, he did indeed see a man, later identified as Jones, sitting inside a pickup as the vehicle’s security alarm was sounding. What police didn’t know at the time was that Jones was attempting to get inside the vehicle that he owned.
At some point Officer Wiley and Jones scuffled and Jones was shot. Police initially said Jones, who was the only officer on the scene when the shooting happened, was shot as he tried to evade arrest. Jones, who was not armed, denies the allegation.
After being indicted for Aggravated Assault Wiley turned himself in and posted a $300,000 bond. If convicted he faces up to 99 years in prison. This is the third indictment of a Dallas County law enforcement officer in just over a year.
Wiley was a 10-year veteran of the Mesquite Police Department and until his termination had been on paid administrative leave. He is in the process of appealing his firing.