TARRANT COUNTRY (CBSDFW.COM) – The Grapevine Police officer who fatally shot an unarmed man will not face any charges.READ MORE: U.S.-Mexico Border Arrests During Summer Remain At Highest Level In Decades
For the past couple of weeks, a Tarrant County Grand Jury has heard evidence regarding the February 20 shooting, involving Grapevine Officer Robert Clark and Mexican national Ruben Garcia Villalpando. On Monday, the jury returned a no bill, which means Clark will face no criminal charges for the shooting.
“The grand jurors were given complete and open access to all the evidence in this case, included cell phone videos, the dash cam video from Officer Clark’s vehicle, witness statements, police records and reports, and any additional information that they requested,” said Larry Moore, Chief of the CDA’s Criminal Division, who led the state’s presentation. “They heard testimony from witnesses representing both Mr. Villalpando and Officer Clark. The attorneys representing Officer Clark and the Villalpando family were also given the opportunity to directly address the Grand Jury, should they wish to do so.”
CBS 11’s Investigative Reporter Mireya Villareal spoke with Villalpando’s family and attorney, who say they are shocked, angry and disappointed by the outcome of the Grand Jury process. They say while Officer Clark wasn’t criminally charged, they are still working on a possible lawsuit against the officer and the department that hired him.
Clark was with Grapevine Police for 8 months at the time of the shooting. In the dashcam video (posted at the top of this article), which has been released for the first time, you see Clark weaving in and out of traffic as he chased Villalpando for a couple of minutes. When Villalpando stopped and got out of the car, his hands were up as he moves toward Officer Clark. The actual shooting happens off camera. Villalpando was shot twice in the chest.READ MORE: COVID-19 Booster Shot Not Yet FDA-Authorized, But Some Not Waiting
In the video, you also hear inappropriate language directed at Villalpando from Clark, which the family says was the reason why Villalpando walked towards the officer.
Grapevine’s Police Chief has released a video statement, defending Clark’s actions. “The dash-cam video tells a very different story from the one the public has been hearing,” said Eddie Salame, Grapevine Chief of Police. “No one has a definitive explanation for Mr. Villalpando’s behavior on the night of February 20th but it is possible that the fact that he was legally intoxicated and was facing a second arrest for Driving While Intoxicated may have impacted his conduct and actions,” said Chief Salame.
WATCH GRAPEVINE POLICE CHIEF SALAME’S FULL STATEMENT BELOW:
MORE NEWS: North Texas School Districts Grapple With Learning Loss And Keeping Teachers, Students From Getting COVID-19
(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)