ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The father of a woman killed after an Arlington officer meant to shoot her dog called the incident Thursday a sign police culture needs to change.
A grand jury has now indicted that former officer, Ravi Singh, on a charge the victim’s family didn’t think would happen.
In the first minutes after Margarita Brooks was shot in Arlington in 2019, the confusion over how it happened was captured by Singh’s body camera.
“What’s going on with her?” asked a firefighter, looking toward paramedics treating Brooks.
“She was shot, from the crossfire,” Singh responded.
A long, silent pause followed until Singh continued to explain the dog had run toward him and he fired the shots.
The 30-year-old victim’s father, Troy, said he never thought the officer would be charged.
“The police are always right” he said. “We never doubt them. So I was absolutely surprised at all. This doesn’t happen.”
Brooks and attorneys representing the family see parallels with other police-involved incidents in Arlington, North Texas and around the country.
“This is what we train officers to do, to protect the business class, and to go after and deal as criminals, someone who could be sick, someone who could be poor,” said family attorney Lee Merritt.
Brooks. a firefighter in Arlington, said his concerns about policing go back more than a decade before his daughter’s death.
As the city of Arlington is going through the process of hiring a new police chief, he said the entire approach of policing needs to change.
“Everybody else can die before I can even be injured. I have to survive,” he said, describing what he viewed as the police mindset. “So it’s an us versus them mentality. That’s not the oath you swore to. You swore to serve the citizens.”