Officer indicted for hitting man in face with his knee

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston Police Officers Union came out to defend an officer who has been placed on administrative leave after he was indicted for allegedly kneeing a drug suspect in the face during a 2017 arrest.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced on Wednesday that Officer Shane Privette is charged with a first-degree felony for aggravated assault by a public servant.

Dwayne Walker, 52, was arrested for trying to sell crack cocaine to an undercover officer in Nov. 2017, according to court records.

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Officer Privette allegedly struck Dwayne Walker in the face with his knee during an encounter in a gas station parking lot in 2017.



Privette allegedly struck Dwayne Walker in the face with his knee during an encounter in a gas station parking lot in 2017.

Thursday, Privette's attorney and the Police Union voiced their support for the officer.

"When suspects resist arrest, and officers have to use force, often times there are injuries and there is bruising," said Aaron Sudor, Privette's attorney. "That's the part of cost of doing business if you were to resist arrest police."

Walker's face is badly beaten in his mugshot from after the arrest.

Houston Police Officer Shane Privette allegedly struck Dwayne Walker (pictured above) in the face with his knee during an encounter in a gas station parking lot in 2017.



"He's unrecognizable," said Benoit Walker of his brother's mug shot. "I think the days of officers getting away with police brutality has come and gone. There are video phones everywhere, so I think officers need to do their job and do it right versus going overboard with brutality."



However, Union President Joe Gamaldi says the injuries are constituent with someone who is unlawfully resisting arrest.

"This convicted drug dealer was attempting to run because he had an open parole warrant," said Gamaldi during a press conference held on Thursday. "From the first sergeant on the scene all the way to the Chief, they cleared this officer, in fact, he was completely exonerated on the use of force."

Gamaldi also provided a letter addressed to Privette from Internal Affairs stating he was exonerated.

In March, Walker wrote a letter from jail to the court asking for the address of HPD's Internal Affairs Division to inquire about what he described as the "excessive use of force" during his arrest.

Walker is still serving his sentence in the drug case.

Privette's attorney says he will turn himself in.

The case is being prosecuted by the Civil Rights Division of the Harris County District Attorney's Office, who relied on the Grand Jury to make its decision.

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