Charges dismissed against 2 Baytown police officers accused of assaulting a man in 2019

Alex Bozarjian Image
Tuesday, February 20, 2024
Charges dismissed against 2 Baytown police officers accused of assaulting a man during traffic stop in 2019
Cases against two Baytown officers who were charged with assaulting a man during a traffic stop in 2019 were dismissed.

BAYTOWN, Texas (KTRK) -- Cases against two Baytown officers charged with assaulting a man during a traffic stop in 2019 were dismissed.

According to the Harris County District Attorney's Office, the two completed a pre-trial diversion program that dropped their charges.

Neither Teddy Sims nor Samuel Serrett can ever be police officers in Texas again.

They both voluntarily handed over their Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) licenses.

In a statement to ABC13, the DA's office said, "We have sympathy for the victim in this case. They are notoriously difficult to prosecute. It's important to note that as the result of our investigation, these men will never again be allowed to wear a badge or disgrace the uniform of a Texas law enforcement officer."

Eyewitness News reporter Alex Bozarjian asked the victim, Kedric Crawford, if he felt closure.

"Oh, no. I feel worse than the night it actually happened," Crawford said.

Crawford's violent run-in with Baytown police happened back on July 6, 2019.

Officers claimed he was acting suspiciously, and said he resisted arrest.

Crawford was thrown to the ground, stunned by a Taser, hit, and choked.

"I was scared that they were probably going to start shooting me," Crawford said.

The severity of Crawford's injuries since that interaction can be seen in his booking photo, which he permitted us to show.

Serrett and Sims approached Crawford that night as he was pulled over in an H-E-B parking lot on Garth Road.

They were also accompanied by a jailer named Shane Dunlap, who can be seen in the body camera footage wearing civilian clothes.

"They asked me, can they search my vehicle, and I knew I wasn't doing anything wrong, so I gave them consent to search my car," Crawford said.

While searching his car, the officers said they found small bags of pills.

However, Crawford was only charged with assaulting a police officer.

"Sent to a jail for the first time with his eyes swollen shut. Made to maneuver through the jail blind," Umeka Lewis, Crawford's Attorney, said.

The charge against Crawford was dropped a few months after the incident.

Two years later, Sims, Serrett, and Dunlap were all charged with aggravated assault in connection to the alleged beating.

"I was elated when we got warrants for their arrest," Lewis said.

On Friday, court documents showed the charges against Sims and Serrett were dismissed.

The deal was dependent upon both completing a pre-trial diversion program.

Crawford said he was disappointed. He said he is even more fearful now of police than he was then.

"It seems as if they got a better deal than I did," Crawford said.

Crawford and Lewis are hoping for the release of additional body camera footage from other officers on scene that they say will tell the whole story.

Dunlap, who was the jailer, is still facing charges.

Crawford's attorney said they have a civil rights claim pending in federal court. However, she said they will be fighting a monster called "qualified immunity."

Qualified immunity is a judicial doctrine that shields government officials from liability for constitutional violations.

The doctrine has been challenged in recent years because it is routinely used to protect law enforcement officers from being sued in cases of excessive force.