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Sunday, January 23, 2022
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Police Officer Accused of Abuse, Grand Jury to Review Case

City & State

Gavel with books in background. | Image by DNY59

On Friday, Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot and prosecutors presented evidence to a grand jury concerning alleged abuse by a Dallas Police Sergeant.

Sgt. Roger Rudloff is accused of shooting a protester in the chest with pepper-balls at close range and kneeing another protester in the stomach.

The alleged abuse occurred in Dallas last year during a gathering to protest and mourn the death of George Floyd. The incidents were captured in pictures by a Dallas Morning News photographer at the scene.

The Dallas Morning News also reported that police body-cam footage shows the sergeant allegedly shoving his knee into the second protester’s stomach after the protestor started running towards him.

Some experts on the investigation argue that Rudloff used appropriate force as outlined by the police department. Prosecutors claim that the man, Parker Nevills, was being compliant before Rudloff kneed him.

A private investigation by the Dallas Morning News uncovered 18 more instances of possible abuse by Rudloff, “including flashlight beatings, chokings, and racial slurs,” during the past 26 years.

In a statement to the newspaper last year, Rudloff stated that he shot JantzenVerastique with pepper-balls because “she did not follow instructions,” but did not elaborate further.

The newspaper’s investigation also raised questions about potential wrongdoing in the handling of Rudloff’s case. According to investigators, the Dallas Police Department quietly dropped any charges against Rudloff in March.

The grand jury hearing represents a victory for activist groups that have campaigned for more accountability for Dallas officers.

Rudloff has served in the police force for 26 years and has earned more than 120 commendations. Rudloff’s lawyer Robert Rogers stated that the claims made against his client were “baseless” and that Rudloff’s awards prove he was an “exceptional” officer.

Verastique, the victim of the pepper-ball shooting, and her friend Dondi Morse, who was also at the scene of the alleged abuse were expected to testify in front of Friday’s grand jury.

According to FindLaw, grand juries typically only decide whether or not to press charges, not whether or not an individual is guilty or innocent.

As of now, Rudloff works an undisclosed job at the city jail. He was removed from his position as an officer to limit his interaction with the public, Dallas Morning News says.

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