SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio woman who lost a loved one after he was shot and killed by San Antonio police says Bexar County needs to invest more in community resources like education, housing and health.
“Focus on addressing the root cause of these issues and why unarmed Black people are consistently being murdered by police in this city and across the nation,” said Celeste Brown, a family friend of Darrell Wayne Zemault Sr.
In September, San Antonio police said they were trying to arrest Zemault for two active warrants. They said there was a struggle, and Zemault allegedly grabbed one of the officer’s guns after it fell.
Police said Zemault had his finger on the trigger, and another detective fired one round into Zemault’s back, killing him.
Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales announced the formation of a civil rights division that will handle shootings by officers.
“My first thought is that’s great, but our family still has not seen the body camera footage from Zemault Sr.'s murder,” Brown said.
The district attorney’s new civil rights division will include two prosecutors, an investigator and a victim advocate.
“It will allow us to speed up the process in terms of reviewing these cases and preparing them for prosecution,” Gonzales said.
The new division will be investigating shootings, in-custody deaths --including those that may occur at the Bexar County Jail -- and excessive force cases.
Currently, there are 23 pending shooting cases involving officers, 11 of which resulted in deaths.
The new unit is projected to cost around $385,000 a year. It’s still pending approval by county commissioners.