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Supporters attend press conference for slain Baytown woman

Family members of the woman killed in an attempted arrest that turned violent joined with their attorney to mark one month after the shooting with a press conference and rally in front of the Baytown Police Station Thursday.

Attorney Ben Crump largely repeated the claims he made earlier about Pamela Turner’s death and related it to other high-profile deaths of black persons at the hand of law enforcement officers.

“We continue to express the fact that the nature of your ethnicity and the status of your mental health should not be the compounding factors as to whether you live or die when you have an encounter with the police,” he said.

“Far too often when people of color have an encounter with police officers it ends up being fatal,” Crump said.

Crump referred to Turner as an “unarmed woman,” which contradicts the police report that Turner took the Taser from the police officer arresting her and used it on him.

“Nobody can understand why he [the police officer] was confronting Pamela Turner that night,” Crump said. “Pam Turner did absolutely nothing wrong other than to try to get home.”

Turner had three outstanding Harris County arrest warrants, and possibly additional city warrants, when a police officer recognized her walking in her apartment complex the night of May 13.

When he attempted to arrest her on those warrants, she tried to return to her apartment.

Crump asked, “Why DA Kim Ogg has not arrested or called a grand jury to charge this officer so he can be arrested.” 

The Texas Rangers are investigating the shooting and have not yet reported their findings to Ogg.

Crump confirmed that he has been in contact with the Rangers and has not been given a timeline for the investigation to be 

completed. Baytown police have also said they do not know when the Rangers investigation will be finished.

The shooting death attracted national attention after a video of Turner being shot was widely circulated.

Crump said Thursday that the video has been viewed more than 20 million times.

“Without that video, Pamela Turner’s family wouldn’t have any chance at justice,” he said. “Many people of color understand that far too often, unless we have objective proof, people are going to believe the police over the innocent person of color.”

Also speaking at the press conference were Turner’s sister, Antoinette Dorsey-James and daughter Chelsie Rubin.

Rubin said the family has received videos from other people that show a pattern of BPD being a “racist police department.”

Dorsey-James urged the district attorney to “Make a decision. Lock this man up.”

About a dozen protesters showed up for the press conference.

Crump said there would be another press conference next month, in front of the District Attorney’s Office in Houston.

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