Two Baytown Police Officers and a Detention Officer are indicted on aggravated assault charges for targeting, tasering and beating innocent and unarmed Black man in 2019.
A controversial case that the Houston Forward Times has reported on since the despicable incident occurred in July 2019, has a new update. Two Baytown police officers and an alleged civilian who were caught on video camera severely assaulting an innocent Black man in Baytown, Texas, have been indicted on serious aggravated assault charges.
The despicable acts of police brutality caught on video camera, involving the then-45-year-old Kedrick Crawford, who is African American, became a national story. The story even got the attention of nationally-renowned civil rights attorney Ben Crump.
Baytown Police Officers Teddy Sims and Samuel Serrett, along with Detention Officer Shane Dunlap, are all facing a prison sentence for aggravated assault that ranges from 5 to 99 years, or even life in prison, if they are convicted here in Texas.
Civil rights attorney U.A. Lewis, who represents Crawford, is thrilled with the indictments, but states that there were more police officers involved and is seeking more indictments. She hopes that more information about this case can be made public.
“I am so pleased that these police officers have finally been INDICTED,” said Lewis. “Now we need them to be convicted and we need other indictments on the OTHER 3. The video does not show the total of 9 officers on the scene 6 of which joined in and beat my client. The videos I have I could not share because Judge Lynn Hughes blocked them, stating that he does not want protests and so on.”
Lewis states that this has been a trying case, but she persevered despite the adversity.
“You have no idea of the calls and “letters” I have been writing to the DOJ, Texas Rangers, and Harris County DA,” said Lewis. “Remember this is the case I was sanctioned with classes over by federal Judge Lynn Hughes, who falsely alleged that I was judge shopping when I filed a legitimate second case against Harris County that had nothing to do with this case.”
In June 2020, Crawford and his attorney, Civil Rights attorney U.A. Lewis, filed a lawsuit alleging that his Fourth Amendment constitutional rights were violated, along with a Monell Claim against the City of Baytown, Baytown Police Chief Dougherty, and Baytown Officer Teddy Sims, citing their failure to train and/or properly supervise their employees.
This case has shined a light on the City of Baytown and the Baytown Police Department, after several high-profile incidents have gained national attention.
If you recall, the violent police brutality incident involving members of the Baytown Police Department against Crawford came a few months after Pamela Turner—an unarmed Black female—was shot to death on video by Baytown Police Officer Juan Delacruz on May 13, 2019, outside of her apartment complex on the same street where the assault on Crawford took place (Garth Road) in Baytown.
Relative to the incident involving Crawford, on the night in question, he had pulled into a local H-E-B parking lot on Garth Road to put an address into the GPS navigation app on his cell phone to get directions. As he sat parked in the parking lot, Officers Sims and Serrett pulled up on Crawford and approached his vehicle with alleged suspicions that he may have been up to no good. Crawford, after being confronted and questioned by the officers, allowed them to search his vehicle upon their request. He gave them consent to search his vehicle and they found nothing illegal in the vehicle.
In the video that was eventually released by the Baytown Police Department, Crawford is heard telling an officer that he had insurance or whatever they needed, to which the officer responded, “And what does that have to do with anything?” After the officers’ response, Crawford then asks the officer, “So when am I free to go?” to which the officer responds, “Whenever man!”
Crawford then seeks to clarify and confirm that the officer was allowing him to go free, and that is when all hell broke loose. Five seconds after informing him that he was free to go, the officer came up behind Crawford and aggressively commands him to put his hands behind his back. Confused and afraid for his life, Crawford asks why he was being asked to put his hands behind his back be cuffed and repeatedly asks the officer what he did wrong. In a hostile manner, the officer tells Crawford to not resist and yells, “I will drop you!”
At this point in the video, Crawford is visibly confused and unaware of why he is being treated this way on the video and continuously asks the officers “What is going on?” when suddenly you hear the officer threaten to use his Taser on him. Fearing that he is going to be killed, Crawford continued to profess his innocence and plead with officers to let him know what he did wrong. The officer ignores Crawford’s pleas and questions and begins tasering and beating him relentlessly. Mysteriously, the officer’s body camera goes dark after the assault occurs and all you hear from that point on is audio, but not before seeing a third party in civilian clothing (blue shirt and blue jeans) place Crawford in a chokehold and wrestle with him to the ground—while the Baytown Police officers did nothing to stop this individual from assaulting him.
After viciously assaulting Crawford, he was taken to Ben Taub Hospital where he was treated for severe injuries to his face, chest, right eye, head, and hands.
According to Lewis, there are 15 other angles that exist of the incident that shows six officers beating Crawford and not just three individuals.
To view a modified version of the incident surrounding the Baytown Police Department and their vicious attack on Crawford, please view the footage here at: https://youtu.be/o2oQalevBI0.
Officer Sims had his bond set at $75,000, while Officer Serrett and Detention Officer Dunlap both had their bonds set at $60,000 each. In addition to those bond amounts, bond conditions include having no contact with Crawford; no contact with each other; wearing a GPS ankle monitor; no drugs or alcohol; and no possession of firearms. As of this article, they had not been taken into custody.
The Houston Forward Times will continue to follow this case and give our readers an update on the status of these and possible future indictments, as well as the subsequent trials and/or plea deals that may come about over the coming months. Stay tuned!