ARLINGTON, Texas - The Arlington officer who shot and killed O’Shae Terry during a traffic stop last year has been indicted by a grand jury.
The Tarrant County Grand jury indicted Arlington Officer Bau Tran on Wednesday for the deadly Sept. 1 shooting. He’s charged with criminally negligent homicide.
Police released Tran’s body camera a week after the shooting. It shows the officer questioning Terry and another person inside an SUV. An officer told Terry she smelled marijuana and that she was going to search his SUV.
Arlington PD said Tran pulled the trigger as Terry attempted to drive away from a traffic stop. They said they later found a handgun and drugs inside the SUV when they searched it.
Terrence Harmon was the passenger in the SUV when Terry was shot and killed.
“I think of him every day,” he said. “Every day.”
Sherley Woods and her attorneys, Daryl Washington and Lee Merritt, say Officer Tran’s indictment is a hard-fought first step in getting justice for her son.
“In the beginning, I said it then and I’m saying it now. In this situation and in this case, there was no reason or Officer Bau Tran to shoot my son at the time that he chose to do so,” Woods said.
“In this situation, we believe that it was appropriate and that this is a start down the right road toward justice,” Merritt said.
The grand jury's indictment says in vague terms that Tran disregarded the "Arlington Police Department's general orders" and that he had “other reasonable alternatives available."
Randall Moore is Officer Tran’s attorney appointed through the Texas Municipal Police Association. He responded to the indictment, stating, "If we’re going to keep judging our officers by the end result rather than reasonableness of their actions under the circumstances, we’re going to have a real problem finding police officers."
Moore went on to state that Tran "feels very strongly that he did what he thought was best under the circumstances and is quite surprised that he wasn’t supported by his department's leaders."
“No family, no mother or father, should have to go through anything like this concerning their child… knowing that it’s in a wrongful way,” Woods said.
Arlington PD released a statement saying that Officer Tran has been on limited duty with the department and will now be on leave pending the results of their own administrative investigation.
Officer Tran's attorney said the appropriateness of his use of force training is going to be a major issue at trial. His first appearance is on May 17.
Tran was booked into the Tarrant County Jail and has since been released on a $10,000 bond.