The country was still in shock over the brutal police killing of Pamela Turner in suburban Houston this week. The 45-year-old grandmother of three was shot five times by a Baytown police officer and the department has been trying to blame the killing on her. Now, Turner’s children are speaking out.
During a press conference Thursday afternoon, Turner’s daughter, Chelsea Rubin, and son, Cameron January, slammed the police department for trying to villainize their mother. Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing the family, contradicted cops’ claims when he said there was not a warrant for Turner’s arrest, which was the reason police gave for the officer approaching her in the first place.
“My mom is not a horrible person, she’s so loving, she’s so caring,” Rubin said.
“My mother was not an evil person, she was not a criminal,” January added. “I won’t stand here and let ya’ll make her look like that… I didn’t receive a phone call. They didn’t want to tell us how things were done or give us any information. I had to sit there and replay this video of my mother getting murdered.”
Watch a clip below:
The officer who shot and killed the unarmed grandmother in Baytown on Monday night reportedly made up a false criminal narrative about the shooting victim. A spokesperson for the Baytown Police Department said that the officer who shot Turner approached her because she had outstanding warrants. But according to civil rights lawyer Crump, that was a lie.
“The police sought to criminalized [sic] this unarmed #blackwoman who the police officer executed her at 10:40pm on May 13, 2019 in Baytown, Texas, a suburb of Houston, Texas,” Crump tweeted Thursday morning. “The Baytown Police Department are lying on #pamelaturner when they say she had outstanding warrants.”
Baytown police have not identified the officer who shot Turner and would only say that he is Hispanic. But one journalist reported that his name is Juan Manuel Delacruz, an 11-year veteran of the force who has reportedly participated in “other illicit conduct.” Baytown Police Lt. Steve Dorris originally said on Tuesday that the officer, who was patrolling the apartment complex, “had prior encounters with” Turner and “knew the woman had outstanding warrants, so he approached her to arrest her.” There were also unconfirmed reports that the officer lived in the same apartment complex where he killed Turner.
In addition, Turner’s criminal record, which, of course, is irrelevant to her killing, was publicized in the hours after her death. But one aspect of Turner’s life that seemed to go all but ignored was that she suffered from mental illness, something her family confirmed. It was also something that the officer, during some of those aforementioned “prior dealings,” presumably knew about through their previous encounters.
Crump doubled down on his tweet in an official statement released Thursday afternoon:
“The Harris County Clerk’s Office does not show any active warrants for Pamela Turner. Baytown Police Department has painted a picture of her being a hardened criminal, which was simply not the case. This is a woman who worked 20 years at the hospital as a Unit Coordinator before taking early retirement because she had been diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2005. She continued to work for another five years, all while struggling to overcome her mental illness as she raised her son and daughter before she was forced to retire due to medical reasons. Her misdemeanor arrests all stemmed from her bouts with mental illness. Her family believes Baytown Police is now looking to justify the execution of their unarmed mother and sister. We must resist this false narrative and humanize Pamela Turner as a woman who could have been one of our own family members.”
We hope the Turner family gets justice.