Baytown creates police advisory committee amid recent criticism

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Saturday, September 26, 2020
Baytown creates police advisory committee amid criticism
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The citizens police advisory committee will review police policy and procedures after two Baytown officers were recently charged.

BAYTOWN, Texas (KTRK) -- The city of Baytown is creating a citizens police advisory committee following criticism for several police involved incidents.

"We're in the application process right now. We have 27 applicants," said Mayor Brandon Capetillo. "We want a diverse committee, we want people with different backgrounds with different opinions."

He said the goal is to help foster a better relationship between the Baytown Police Department and its citizens after two officers were recently charged with crimes.

According to the description of the committee online, one of its goals is to improve and maintain the public trust of the Baytown Police Department.

Officer Juan Delacruz is charged with felony aggravated assault by a public servant for the May 2019 shooting death of Pamela Turner.

SEE MORE: Mugshot released of Baytown officer who shot Black woman in distress

Delacruz was indicted by a Harris County grand jury in September 2020, more than a year after Turner's death.

The mentally ill woman was walking through her own apartment complex when Delacruz tried to make an arrest for outstanding warrants.

Police said she was able to grab his Taser, then he opened fire.

Her death brought renown civil rights attorney Ben Crump to town.

Former Baytown officer Nathaniel Brown is charged with misdemeanor assault for using his knee to hit a man in the head during an arrest.

RELATED: Grand jury indicts fired Baytown officer seen kicking man who questioned arrest

The arrest was caught on camera in June 2020.

He was terminated from the Baytown Police Department in July 2020.

Attorneys for both men refute the charges.

The new committee will not review officer-involved incidents like these, but the mayor says they will instead review police policy and procedures.

"They can make a recommendation, but they will not be in a policy making position," Capetillo said.

The deadline to apply is Wednesday, Sept. 30.

The city council, city manager, mayor and police chief will each choose a member from the pool of applicants who they hope will represent a diverse background.

"It's going to be difficult discussion, it's going to be heated discussions in some cases, but that's okay," Capetillo said.