Trial begins for cop who killed Black grandmother Pamela Turner
Pamela Turner (pictured as a child in the inset) died on May 13, 2019, after being shot by a Baytown police officer. Photo courtesy of the Turner family.

The family of Pamela Turner, a Black woman who was killed by a Baytown police officer in May 2019, plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the city and the officer in federal court Thursday.

Turner family lawyer Ben Crump said he will join the family for a news conference downtown at 11:30 a.m. Thursday and file the lawsuit in Houston’s federal courthouse.

April 8 would have been Turner’s 46th birthday.

Crump is also representing the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, whose deaths at the hands of police have also caused nationwide outrage.

Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, will be at the news conference, according to a press release by Crump’s law firm.

The Baytown Police Department said officer Juan Delacruz shot Pamela Turner on May 13, 2019, at her apartment complex, after a struggle in which police said she took his Taser. Delacruz’s lawyer says he acted in self defense.

A witness captured the incident on video and shared it on social media at the time.

Crump said the officer had no reason to shoot because he had already deployed the Taser. Houston Public Media previously reported that the Taser couldn’t shoot more darts without being manually reloaded.

A Harris County grand jury indicted Delacruz last year on one charge of aggravated assault by a public servant. He’s facing five years to life in prison.

The officer’s attorney, Greg Cagle, has said Delacruz had no choice but use deadly force because the Taser could still inflict pain as a stun gun and the deployed wires could still have incapacitated him if he had stepped on them.