DENTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The family of UNT student Darius “DJ” Tarver is calling for a federal investigation after Denton Police exonerated the officers involved in his shooting death in January of 2020.
The Denton Police Department has determined its officers acted appropriately last year when they used deadly force on Tarver and “… determined that the officers actions that night did not violate the Civil Service Rules.”
DJ’s father, Kevin Tarver, has questioned the actions of officers since he first watched police body cam video.
It showed the police confronting the 23-year-old who was reportedly acting erratically, shouting in the breezeway of his apartment complex and breaking light fixtures.
Police say he was holding a meat cleaver and refused their commands before he was tased and fatally shot.
Tarver has long argued his son should’ve been treated as someone who was mentally ill and not as a criminal.
“They practiced no de-escalation, they practiced no type of training. they showed no type of training,” said Kevin Tarver. “Their standards are about killing people with mental illness.”
Tarver questions why one of the officers involved has since left the department without explanation.
Denton Police Chief Frank Dixon told CBS 11 News it was not related to the shooting and in an email defended the investigation calling it a thorough and critical review
In March, a grand jury declined to indict the officer who shot DJ, but Tarver’s family still hopes the U.S. Department of Justice will review the case.
Tarver’s father said he also planning to file a federal lawsuit next month.