Jury finds former officer not guilty of official oppression

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A former Pasadena police officer accused of shooting an unarmed man during a traffic stop has been found not guilty.

Michael Martin was charged with official oppression stemming from a shooting back in 2011. If he had been convicted, he could have faced up to a year behind bars.

"I think when we look at the totality of evidence it clearly showed Mike Martin did not just walk up and for no reason shoot an individual who posed no threat," said Paul Aman, Martin's attorney.

Dash cam and security video from a gas station shows Martin shooting at then 19-year-old driver Victor Hernandez.

Hernandez had been pulled over for suspected drunk driving. As Martin approaches, the videos show the car creeping forward. Hernandez said his car moved while he was pulled over because the car was in neutral. The video then shows Martin shooting at Hernandez once through the car window before Hernandez speeds off, leading police on a short chase before giving himself up.

Hernandez said the gunshot wound left him with a $300,000 medical bill and scars on both cheeks.

"They're letting police officers get away with with everything, you know?" Hernandez said.

Hernandez says he drove off because he saw Martin pull out his gun. He admits he was drinking and driving but said that should not justify getting shot in the face.

"It doesn't have anything to do with that. But I guess everybody that's out there drinking should be shot you know," Hernandez said.

The prosecution believed that when Martin pulled over driver Victor Hernandez, he shot at him as he was trying to get away and that there were inconsistencies in the story Martin told investigators.

"We had video albeit it wasn't the clearest video in the world but it was something that we believed disproved the officers claim of self defense and evidently the jury did not agree," prosecutor Julian Ramirez said.

Martin was terminated by the Pasadena Police Department in 2012 because there were inconsistencies in the story Martin told investigators and the events in the the dash cam video.

Martin has not decided whether he will try to get his old job back.

If a police officer is found guilty of official oppression, it's a Class A misdemeanor -- same as those who promote gambling or have two to four ounces of weed found on them.

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