HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A lawyer for the family of Pamela Turner, who was fatally shot by a police officer outside of Houston, says the officer who killed her lived in the same apartment complex as the woman and knew she suffered from mental illness.
Attorney Ben Crump says Turner had struggled with paranoid schizophrenia since her diagnosis in 2005, and may have been in crisis the night she was killed.
“Make no mistake about it, the Baytown Police Department sought to criminalize Pamela Turner,” Crump said. “Her family comes here this morning to humanize Pamela Turner.”
Baytown police have said an officer shot the 44-year-old African American woman Monday during an attempted arrest, and that she shocked him with his own Taser during a struggle.
At a Thursday press conference, Crump and Turner’s family portrayed the officer as the aggressor.
“In the days to come you’re going to find out that Pamela Turner wasn’t nearly as bad as they try to make her out to be,” Crump said. “And you’re going out find out that this police officer wasn’t nearly as good as they’re trying to make him out to be.”
The officer who shot Turner, who has not been identified, allegedly claimed he tried to take her into custody because he knew the woman had outstanding warrants. During the press conference Thursday, the family said they don’t believe Turner had any active warrants and want officials to provide any information to the contrary.
Turner’s daughter, Chelsie Rubin, said she asked a Baytown police officer if the department was aware of her mother’s illness and he confirmed they were.
Attorneys for the Turner family say they are also working to get legal representation for the person who recorded the now widely seen cell phone video, because he is distrustful of local law enforcement.
Funeral services for Pamela Shantay Turner are scheduled for May 23 at Lilly Grove Baptist Church in Houston.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)