A grand jury has recommended an aggravated assault charge against a Dallas police officer who shot and killed a woman in a January confrontation involving a stolen car.
The Dallas County district attorney announced Friday that Christopher Hess was indicted on a charge of aggravated assault. The charge is related to the January shooting death of 21-year-old Genevive Dawes and is the first time in 43 years that a Dallas Police officer has been indicted for an officer-involved shooting that resulted in death.
Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson said at a press conference Friday that her office was committed to taking the case to trial and to investigating officer-involved shootings.
Daryl Washington, a civil rights attorney representing Dawes’ family, said they were hoping for a murder charge to be brought against the officer.
Hess and another officer, who the grand jury did not recommend charges against, had responded to a suspicious persons call, according to police accounts. Dawes and Rosales allegedly ignored commands to get out of the car, reversed the car into a police cruiser, rammed a wooden fence and were reversing away from the fence when police fired, killing Dawes and injuring Rosales.
Washington claims the officers fired 14 times into the car, and that he believed Hess had fired 13 of the shots.
Johnson said she had seen the body camera footage from the incident, but could not comment on the content or what role it played in the charge.
Authorities say Hess, a 10-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department, will be placed on administrative leave pending a review by Internal Affairs investigators. If convicted, Hess faces between 5 and 99 years in prison.
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