DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas Fraternal Order of Police issued a statement in support of Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata, in the wake of revelations that came out during the Amber Guyger murder trial.
During the trial, prosecutors used security camera video to suggest the Dallas Police Association acted improperly when DPA President Mike Mata arrived on the scene after the shooting.
It was enough for civil rights activists to accuse the officer’s group of trying to cover up and clean up Guyger’s account of what happened before she would face questioning.
The Texas Fraternal Order Of Police President Steve Stribley said in a statement, they support Mata, saying he responded to the Guyger shooting in his capacity as President of the Dallas Police Association and he had a legal responsibility to request recording devices in a squad car to be turned off as Guyger was going to talk to her attorney on the phone.
Here is the full letter:
“The Fraternal Order of Police Texas State Lodge supports Sergeant Mike Mata and his efforts to expose what appears to be a blatant case of prosecutorial misconduct by the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office,
Despite making claims to the contrary, prosecutor Jason Hermus knew that Mike Mata was responding in his capacity as President of the Dallas Police Association to the scene of an officer involved shooting, In his role as DPA President, he had a legal responsibility to request recording devices in a squad car be turned off as Officer Amber Guyger was going to talk to her attorney on her cell phone.
Even a first-year law student knows that her conversation was protected under attorney-client privilege and any effort to record such confidential communication would be illegal.
Hermus was willing to make a despicable, false, and theatrical accusation to win a conviction, even if it meant deteriorating the public’s trust in the Dallas Police Department and discrediting a decorated police officer who has spent the last 25 years of his life protecting families.”
Steve Stribley, President Texas Fraternal Order of Police
Later Friday afternoon, the National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, Patrick Yoes, released a similar statement:
I was outraged to learn that Dallas Assistant District Attorney Jason Hermus deliberately and maliciously attacked the character of Mike Mata, the President of the Dallas FOP Lodge, in the course of prosecuting Officer Amber Guyger. It was unnecessary, it was wrong and it was so grossly irresponsible that I believe it constitutes prosecutorial misconduct.
Mike Mata responded to the scene, not as an officer of the Dallas Police Department, but as the representative of the Dallas Police Association—the union to which Officer Guyger belongs. When she telephoned her attorney, President Mata requested that all recording devices be turned off. Anyone who has seen an episode of TV’s Law and Order knows that conversations between a client and her attorney are privileged communications. As her union representative, President Mata would have been negligent had he not made that request If the accused were not a police officer, there would be no question that recording devices should be deactivated ‘k hitt.. a client and her attorney communicate.
The false and reckless accusations made by the Assistant District Attorney, not only smears the character of a law enforcement officer of 25 years, but it undermines the public’s trust in the Dallas Police Department
He should be ashamed of himself, and he should apologize for his blatant misconduct.