(DALLAS MORNING NEWS) — Dallas police Officer Martin Rivera took the stand this week in the Amber Guyger trial, where prosecutors revealed that he and Guyger, his former police partner, had an on-again, off-again sexual relationship.
Rivera also has something else in common with Guyger: The 17-year DPD veteran also shot and killed an unarmed man.
On March 22, 2007, Rivera shot 20-year-old Brandon Washington outside a convenience store, where the man was eating a stolen candy bar.
On Wednesday, Brandon’s mother, Antoinette Washington will join a midday news conference in downtown Dallas by Mothers Against Police Brutality to demand that the 12-year-old case be re-investigated and that Rivera be fired.
The Dallas Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
Reached by phone on Wednesday, Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata declined to comment, saying he could be called to testify.
The night he was killed, Washington was suspected of shoplifting a candy bar by a clerk at a convenience store on Lake June Road in Pleasant Grove, according to news reports.
When Washington was slow to take his hands out of his pockets, Rivera shot Washington once in the head and leg, police records say. He died later.
No weapon was recovered from Washington and police said they believed he might have been reaching for a cellphone, according to news reports at the time.
A grand jury looked at the case, and Rivera was not charged with a crime.
In a news release, Collette Flanagan, who founded MAPB after Dallas police killed her own unarmed son, Clinton Allen, said police officials reported that Rivera thought Washington had a gun. “But he was just using the cop’s get-out-of-jail-free card,” Flanagan said. “And it worked.”
Flanagan said the group wants Rivera “fired immediately from DPD, and the Washington case reopened and investigated.
“Dallas police officers who kill were routinely no-billed for more than 40 years, after 1973,” MABP co-founder Sara Mokuria said in the news release.
In 1973, Santos Rodriguez, who was 12 years old, was shot in the head while handcuffed in a Dallas police car after officers picked up him and his brother on suspicion of burglary. Officer Darrell L. Cain was found guilty. He served two-and-a-half years of a five-year prison sentence.
More than four decades would pass in Dallas County before another police officer was found guilty of murder in an on-duty shooting.
Former Balch Springs Officer Roy Oliver was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the murder of Jordan Edwards, a 15-year-old boy shot while riding in a car with other teenagers leaving a house party.
“Who knows how many officers got away with murder because of destroyed evidence and false statements? We should revisit that whole era of unaccountable use of deadly force,” Mokuria said.