BEAUMONT, Texas — A Beaumont police officer will not face charges in connection with allegations that he assaulted a man, leaving him paralyzed.
That was the decision released Wednesday by a Jefferson County grand jury. The same grand jury indicted the man who was left paralyzed.
Cristopher Shaw, 41, of Beaumont, was indicted for second-degree assault of a peace officer. He was arrested on June 12, 2021, for public intoxication.
The incident that left him paralyzed happened as police were transferring him to the Jefferson County Jail.
A spokesperson for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Beaumont chapter said video of the incident needs to be made public.
12News requested a copy of the video, but because there's an active investigation on the assault of a police officer, authorities say the video can't be released.
The president of the Beaumont chapter NAACP said a man in handcuffs was paralyzed, and action needs to be taken.
"We support the Beaumont Police Department, but at the same time, we hold any and everybody accountable, including our city officials, our city attorney," said Reverend Michael Cooper, president of NAACP Beaumont chapter. "We're asking them to release the video, be transparent to the community."
Beaumont Police Chief Jim Singletary told 12News Thursday afternoon that the officer was defending himself.
"We feel very badly about the gentleman who got injured, but our officer was just doing his job and I want them to protect themselves. I stand by the actions of this officer. I hate that somebody got hurt, but he did his job,” Singletary said.
Singletary said he plans on making the video public but does not know when that would happen.
Shaw could face up to 20 years in prison with a $10,000 fine.
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On June 12, 2021, a Beaumont Police officer was called to the 1700 block of Roberts Street around 4 p.m. after a report about a suspicious man in a black shirt who jumped into a United States Postal Services truck, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The officer said he arrived and saw Shaw in the middle of the roadway. Shaw’s speech was slurred, his balance was unsteady, and he was flailing his arms as the officer approached him, the affidavit says.
The police officer believed he was displaying signs of intoxication, and Shaw was taken into custody for public intoxication.
Once Shaw was medically cleared for jail, he was transported to the Jefferson County Correctional Facility.
When Shaw arrived at the jail, police said he tried to escape by pulling away from an officer while being removed from a patrol unit. The restraint caused both the officer and Shaw to fall to the ground. Both of the officer’s elbows were scraped and bloody, the affidavit says.
Once Shaw was inside the booking area, officers said he became very aggressive, using physical force to push officers. Shaw “intentionally and knowingly” proceeded to kick an officer in the shin and groin, the affidavit says.
He was eventually restrained and charged with assault to a public servant.
This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.
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