Man reacts to indictment of HPD officer accused of striking him in the face with his knee

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The man, who says he was at the receiving end of a knee to the face during an arrest in 2017, was surprised a grand jury indicted the Houston police officer believed responsible.

"I was. I really was because HPD, you don't indict HPD unless you did wrong and he did wrong," said Dwayne Walker from behind plexiglass at a prison unit in Beaumont.

On June 26, a Harris County grand jury indicted HPD officer Shane Privette, 27, on a felony charge of aggravated assault by a public servant.

The District Attorney's Office said he hit Walker with his knee during an arrest after an undercover drug sting in November 2017. Walker's mugshot showed the injuries to his eye and face, which to this day, still bother him.

"This is still broke," said Walker about his left eye socket. "I'm still numb, all of this is still numb. I can't feel any of that."

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Privette's supporters have provided an internal HPD memo showing he was exonerated months ago after an Internal Affairs Division use of force investigation.

They say Walker was resisting. He maintains he was trying to tell officers about a shotgun injury that prevents him from putting his hands behind his back.

"That's just the cost of doing business, if you're going to resist arrest," said Privette's attorney, Aaron Suder, last month.

But the grand jury saw it differently.

ABC13 Eyewitness News went to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's Stiles Unit in Beaumont on Thursday, where 53-year-old Walker is once again. This time, it's for a parole violation due to this arrest.

He has convictions for attempted burglary, drug possession and delivery, and evading arrest.

"Just because a person is incarcerated doesn't mean a person can't tell the truth," Walker said.

Privette, a five-year veteran officer with multiple commendations, is on paid leave and out of jail on a $1,000 bond. His career is on the line.

His supporters, including Chief Art Acevedo and police union president Joe Gamaldi, believe the case will be dismissed.

"The Houston police department exonerated Shane Privette," said Gamaldi last month.

"Do you think he (Privette) should be a police officer?" reporter Jessica Willey asked.

"I'm not going to say 'No' and I'm not going to say 'Yeah,'" Walker responded. "I just don't want him to hurt anyone under the badge."

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