While the shooting death of Danny Thomas happened back in March, a Harris County Grand Jury indicted his alleged killer today. District Attorney Kim Ogg says it was not for murder but for aggravated assault by a public servant.
"The deputy was responding to mental health call. Everybody's seen the video. This is a common sense case. I believe that’s how the Grand Jury regarded it,” she said.
They both carry the same punishment.
Thomas was mentally disturbed at the time of the shooting. He was standing in traffic and was in a confrontation with a diver at the intersection of Greens and Imperial Valley when Deputy Cameron Brewer rolled up. Brewer claimed Thomas came after him with his pants down and so he opened fire. Thompson was unarmed.
The sheriff's office initially defended Brewer but later fired him.
Ogg says despite this high-profile case there is some good news when it comes to officer-involved shootings in Harris County.
“We're down significantly from the past and I think the trend is a positive one in this era of criminal justice,” Ogg says.
There have been 30 so far this year.
The shooting touched off outrage and protests at the time. Tarsha Jackson was one of the organizers and says today's indictment is a positive step.
"We're getting closer to justice for Danny Ray and we're really excited about that. We're just looking forward to what happens next," Jackson says.
Indicting is one thing and convicting is another. The last Harris County peace officer indicted for a shooting was the Bellaire Police officer who shot an unarmed Robbie Tolan back in 2008. He was acquitted.