Fwd: Bell County grand jury summons Temple teen in police assault case

From: floyd m.
Sent on: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 2:25 PM
This is an outrage. But I'm at a loss as how to demand justice except to put the info out on it.

-----Original Message-----
From: SoldierHorn <[address removed]>
To: Lynn Woolley <[address removed]>; ben <[address removed]>; mrtnfly <[address removed]>
Sent: Wed, Jun 19,[masked]:55 am
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 gone nuts?! 

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.  

Killeen/Ft Hood

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 up.”

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 enough information.”

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 under scrutiny.”

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.


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