Prosecution rests in trial of Texas cop who shot, killed woman while aiming at her dog | Courthouse News Service
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
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Prosecution rests in trial of Texas cop who shot, killed woman while aiming at her dog

Witnesses claim the rookie cop should have used pepper spray, a Taser, his baton or his voice to ward off the charging dog instead of using deadly force.

FORT WORTH, Texas (CN) — Prosecutors rested their case Thursday in the trial of a former Texas cop who shot and killed a woman while aiming at her dog during a welfare check, arguing his fear of being mauled was unreasonable.

Ravi Singh, 29, is accused of criminally negligent homicide and faces up to two years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000 if convicted. He shot and killed Margarita “Maggie” Brooks, 30, after responding to reports of a person lying on the grass on Aug. 1, 2019, near North Collins Street in Arlington. Singh resigned from the Arlington Police Department three months after the shooting.

In viral bodycam footage played for jurors on Tuesday, Singh is walking down an alley during daylight and asks a seated Brooks if she is all right.

An unleashed dog begins running at Singh, who steps backward and unholsters his gun while Brooks is heard calling out “down” at the dog. Singh fires three times at the dog and Brooks is immediately heard screaming “what the fuck.”

“Oh my God,” Brooks screamed. “The police shot me.”

She later died from a gunshot wound to the upper torso, while her dog was grazed by a bullet. Singh had graduated from the police academy in February of that year.

Arlington detective Mac Simmons told jurors Thursday he would not have fired his gun at the charging dog with a person so close nearby.

“I would probably kick it,” he testified for the prosecution. “I would rather take a bite than be in that situation.”

Simmons testified about a written statement Singh submitted one week after the shooting. Singh purportedly wrote that pepper spray, a Taser or his baton were not feasible options and that he fired to the left away from Brooks on the right.

Simmons' testimony came one day after police consultant and forensic analyst Jonathyn Priest testified that Singh’s decision to use deadly force was not reasonable nor necessary under the circumstances. Priest said police are trained to be sure of their target and what lies beyond. He said Brooks was “very much so” forgotten in the shooting and was subjected to a substantial and unjustified risk, adding Singh could have used his pepper spray, Taser, baton or a loud voice instead.

Under Texas criminal law, criminally negligent homicide is the least serious charge of the state’s four criminal homicide offenses — the other three being manslaughter, murder and capital murder.

Brooks’ family have since sued Singh and the city of Arlington for over $1 million in actual and punitive damages for wrongful death and for violations of her 14th Amendment rights.

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Categories / Civil Rights, Criminal, Regional, Trials

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