A Texas police officer on Wednesday was indicted on a charge of criminally negligent homicide for allegedly shooting and killing an African-American man during a traffic stop last year.
A Tarrant County grand jury indicted Arlington Officer Bau Tran eight months after Tran allegedly shot O’Shae Terry, 24, in a suburb of Dallas, The Associated Press reported.
According to the AP, Tran fatally shot Terry in September 2018 after a different officer pulled Terry over for a registration violation. According to body camera footage, Tran grabbed the passenger-side window of the car Terry was driving as it rolled up.
Body camera footage shows Tran stepping on to the vehicle’s running board as the SUV began to move. According to footage reported by the AP, Tran then pointed his gun into the car before firing off multiple shots. Terry died at a hospital from gunshot wounds, according to the AP.
“We are certainly happy that there will be a chance for some form of justice in this case,” Lee Merritt, an attorney for Terry’s estate, told the news service. “But if anyone else had done this it would have been murder.”
Tran could face 180 days to two years in state jail if convicted of criminally negligent homicide, which is a felony.
Arlington police placed Tran on restricted duty following the incident, the AP noted. The department placed Tran on administrative leave on Wednesday.
Arlington Lt. Christopher Cook said Tran would remain on leave until an administrative investigation into the shooting concluded.
Tran’s attorney, Randall Moore, has contended that Tran’s actions were legal and that they were taken with the intent of protecting the public. He did not respond to AP’s request for comment.