To: Lynn Woolley <[address removed]>; ben <[address removed]>; mrtnfly <[address removed]>
Subject: Bell County grand jury summons Temple teen in police assault case
Lynn, I've heard you talk about the CJ Griffin case against the
Temple police department but I dont think I've heard you mention the
Lorenzo Martinez case. It's bad enough that they roughed up a kid
who wasnt breaking the law to the point of breaking his collar bone
but then they wouldnt allow the attorney or parents of this minor
kid in the room before grand jury questioning? I would have been
livid had my boy been summoned for questioning before a grand jury
and they wouldnt allow me - the parent - to be in the room with
him? Are you kidding me?! Has the whole Temple authority structure
Along with the legal authority at the point of a gun comes a huge
measure of responsibility and wisdom. We need to support our local
police and work to ensure that they remain independent and local
but, with that, when they obviously overstep their boundaries, it's
the responsibility of the community to rise up and hold the elected
officials responsible for the response.
Bell County grand jury summons Temple
teen in police assault case
While rare for a minor or a crime victim to be called before a
grand jury, the Bell County District Attorney’s office this week
summoned 15-year-old Lorenzo Martinez to appear before the
county’s grand jury to answer questions regarding his May 18
arrest by Temple Police Department officers that left the teen
facing no charges of any type, but with a broken collarbone. And
Martinez’s grand jury appearances aren’t likely over.
While observing what he said looked like an arrest taking place in
the front entry of the Temple Walmart store, Martinez attracted
the attention of Officer Daniel Amaya. Martinez’s attempt to leave
the store after Amaya allegedly told him not to reportedly
prompted Amaya to grab the teenager’s arms to cuff him. Upon
asking a reason for his arrest, Martinez claims Amaya slammed him
to the ground whereby Officer Michael Dent got on his back and
another officer grabbed him around his throat.
Martinez claims officers ignored his complaints of injury and
accused him of being involved in a theft. He admits spitting on
the ground twice after realizing his injury. The officer ordered
the teen to clean it up before he then “slammed him (Martinez)
down on his back – hurting his arm again – and then moved him back
and forth on the ground like a rag to use his shirt to clean it
Upon retrieving her son from the Temple Police, Martinez’s mother,
Elsa, took her son to Scott & White Memorial Hospital where
emergency room personnel confirmed a broken collarbone diagnosis
along with listing Martinez as weighing 100 pounds and with a
slight build. An additional document showed Amaya signed paperwork
refusing transportation of Martinez to the hospital by ambulance.
“The focus needs to be shifted to the criminal police officers who
assaulted my client,” Martinez attorney Kurt Glass said. “If the
focus is shifted as it rightly should, the grand jury should have
The information to which Glass refers includes Walmart video of
the incident as well as two employees witnesses.
“In cases of rape or a home burglary, is the victim the
investigation’s focus?” Glass asked. “There is no reality in
which a 15-year-old with a broken collarbone and his hands cuffed
behind his back should be the focus of this investigation.”
When called to enter the grand jury room Wednesday, Martinez’s
mother and Glass prepared to accompany the teen, but were then
turned away at the door.
“I felt nervous, they asked me some questions, but I wish I would
have had my mom or someone else in the room,” Martinez said of the
session that lasted about five minutes.
Glass reiterated how besides the rarity of a victim being called
before the grand jury, additional concern arose when “Lorenzo’s
mother and I were prevented from entering.”
“As an attorney and as a citizen, I can’t imagine a child going to
Walmart, coming out with a broken collarbone and then you don’t
know what the D.A. wants in questioning this minor,” he said.
Elsa Martinez expressed similar frustration. “They already had
custody of my son once – and he was injured,” she said. “I wanted
to go in with him to the grand jury room.”
And while the city, county and Texas Rangers’ focus appears to be
on Martinez, it’s unknown if any substantive investigation is
occurring with regard to the three officers.
Though the Temple Police Department previously claimed Texas
Ranger involvement with the case was to “assure the public and the
complainant that a fair and unbiased investigation is performed
and appropriate findings are made,” in a statement earlier this
week Glass suggested the investigation is not an independent
effort by the Rangers and instead “Rangers are assisting officers
who were appointed by Chief Smith to perform an investigation of
the assault on Lorenzo Martinez by Temple Police.”
“I’m amazed we haven’t seen indictments yet. If this was my child
or your child that we had broken their collarbones, we’d be
sitting in the Bell County Jail – not on paid leave,” he said.
“And I’m here representing the victim who shouldn’t be the one
And the scrutiny looks as though it will continue. Elsa Martinez –
the mother prevented from accompanying her minor son before the
grand jury – was called back to the District Attorney’s office
after today’s testimony and served another subpoena once again
requiring a June 19 return of her son before the grand jury.
As Glass stated, this investigation focus appears to be on Lorenzo
Martinez. With “ongoing investigations” and “active cases,” no
taxpayer-funded agency involved with this matter is commenting.
The public cannot know if in fact a credible examination of the
case facts is underway, however, taxpayers can know their
hard-earned dollars are being spent in the pursuit of an
investigation into Lorenzo Martinez.
With involvement of the Temple Police Department, the Bell County
District Attorney’s office and the Texas Rangers, taxpayers can be
assured their city, county and state tax dollars are being used to
fully investigate a 15-year-old boy with a broken collarbone.
In the event of charges being filed against one or all of the
three officers involved, the District Attorney is required by law
to provide the defense with the assault video as well as arrest
reports and witness statements.
Entities supportive of transparent and accountable government
routinely make public such footage with investigations and
subsequent prosecutions – where found warranted – moving forward
regardless of public disclosure.
While little about this case is being shared, three certainties
exist. Release of information to the Martinez attorneys has been
declined. Who is being investigated – the wronged or the
wrongdoers – remains unknown. And 15-year-old Lorenzo Martinez is
expected back again next week for more questioning before the Bell
County grand jury.