Arlington, Texas (NBC) (09/18/20)— A former police officer in Arlington, Texas, who fatally shot a woman as he was aiming for her dog was indicted on a charge of criminally negligent homicide.
A Tarrant County grand jury indicted Ravinder Singh on Wednesday, more than a year after the August 1, 2019 death of Margarita Brooks, the county’s District Attorney’s Office said in a press release.
Singh, who resigned from the Arlington Police Department in 2019, faces up to two years in state jail or a fine of up to $10,000. It’s not clear if Singh has turned himself in or has obtained an attorney. He could not immediately be reached Thursday.
Troy Brooks, the father of Margarita Brooks, told NBC News in a phone interview on Thursday that he hoped Singh would be charged with manslaughter “because he thought it was more appropriate.”
Singh was responding to a welfare check for a call about a woman passed out in a grassy area when the shooting occurred, the police department said in a press release on the day of the shooting.
“As the officer began to approach what appeared to be a woman lying in the grass, he noticed there was also an unrestrained dog,” police said. “As the officer called out to the woman repeatedly concerning her welfare, the dog began to run towards the officer while barking.”
“The officer retreated backwards from the running dog while drawing his duty firearm,” according to the press release. “The officer discharged his firearm multiple times towards the dog. After the shots were fired, the woman yelled out and it was apparent she was injured.”
Body-camera video released Wednesday by the District Attorney’s Office shows Singh walking down a sidewalk when he approaches Brooks.
“Hello? Are you okay?” Singh shouts in the video, which was obtained by NBC News. Brooks appears to respond. “Is that your dog?” Singh says.
As the dog runs toward Singh, he backs away and pulls out his gun. Several shots are heard on the video followed by Brooks’ scream. “What the f—. Oh my God,” she says in the video.
Singh radios that shots have been fired and then approaches Brooks. The 31-year-old mother-of-three was shot in the chest and later died at a hospital.
Brooks’ father said his daughter was waiting for her boyfriend when she was approached by the officer.
“That day she was simply sitting in the shade of a tree with her 6-month-old puppy waiting for her boyfriend to come back from work,” he said, questioning why Singh used his gun to stop the dog.
“He had a baton, he had mace, he had Taser. There’s a de-escalation of force,” Troy Brooks said. “This was a panicked 25-year-old man who was scared of a 6-month-old puppy.”
The dog was injured in the shooting and is now being cared for by Troy Brooks.
The Arlington Police Department declined to comment when contacted Thursday.
Singh was hired as a police officer in July 2018 and resigned from the department in November 2019, a few months after the shooting.
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