A Dallas police officer and an officer who was fired last month are facing charges accusing them of using excessive force during the May 2020 protests against police brutality and systematic racism following the death of George Floyd.
The district attorney's office has issued arrest warrants for senior corporal Ryan Mabry and former senior corporal Melvin Williams. They face pre-indictment charges, including aggravated assault and official oppression, which will be presented to a grand jury for consideration.
Williams was fired in January over an unrelated excessive-force accusation. According to The Texas Tribune, Williams was caught on video punching a man last summer and was already under investigation in connection with two other use-of-force incidents.
Officials say the charged officers used "less-lethal" projectiles — a definition that often includes projectiles like rubber bullets.
Together, the officers injured several protesters with the projectiles. One man lost an eye and seven teeth.
Officers fired the projectiles from 40-millimeter launchers.
Their attorneys say they will turn themselves in. Toby Shook, a lawyer representing Mabry, claimed to the Texas Tribune that protesters "intentionally" agitated the situation, leading to the officers' violent response.
"Ryan Mabry is a good officer. He's servied honorably for over 12 years. Member of SWAT, he's put his life on the line many times," Shook told CNN.
Civil rights attorneys in Dallas praised the charges.
"Obviously, we are encouraged by the fact that these officers have been charged with a crime," attorney Daryl Washington told CNN.