No charges for Grapevine officer who fatally shot unarmed man

A Grapevine officer who fatally shot an unarmed Mexican man will not face charges.

A Tarrant County grand jury no-billed Grapevine PD Officer Robert Clark on Monday. Key evidence was dash cam video from the shooting.

Clark shot and killed 31-year-old Ruben Garcia-Villalpando in February.

Police said officers tried to pull Garcia-Villalpando over for a traffic violation, which resulted in a short chase that ended on Highway 121 in Euless.

At the end, Garcia-Villalpando had his hands on his head, but police said he refused to comply with Officer Clark's demands and kept advancing.

He was shot twice outside the view of the dash camera.

The video was made public on Monday. Grapevine's Police Chief posted a video with a play-by-play on the dash cam.

The chief argued that the video shows Officer Clark following best police best practice procedures, defended Clark's use of curse words and noted that Garcia-Villalpando was drunk and that he understood and spoke English.

The family of Garcia-Villalpando spoke Monday afternoon, calling for federal authorities to get involved.

Family members are disappointed in the grand jury's decision and have filed a complaint with the Justice Department, saying Garcia-Villalpando's civil rights were violated.

The family's attorney, Domingo Garcia, says there is an unexplained three-second span in the video when Garcia-Villalpando walks off camera right before being shot.

Family members want to know what happened in those three seconds.

However, there was no evidence offered by Domingo Garcia that the video was altered in any way, and he did say there may be a plausible explanation for his concerns.

The attorney says he will soon be filing a federal lawsuit on behalf of the family against Officer Clark and the Grapevine Police Department.

Prior to Monday, protestors and community leaders had called for the release of the controversial dash cam video.


A couple dozen protestors met Monday night outside of the Grapevine Police Department, angry about the decision not to indict Officer Clark.

Clark's attorney, Lance Wyatt, says the officer is greatly relieved by the decision not to indict him.

Wyatt stopped just short of calling it "suicide by cop," but says Garcia-Villalpando's actions left Clark with no other option.

"Robert was concerned," said Wyatt. "Does he have a bladed weapon, does he have a knife, does he have a gun? And yet Robert allowed him to get as close as he did, which was very close."

Garcia-Villalpando had a pending DWI case from Lewisville in December. The night he was killed, he had a blood alcohol content nearly twice the legal limit to drive.

Garcia-Villalpando was an illegal immigrant from Mexico.  On Monday night, the Mexican government, through its consulate in Dallas, released a statement lamenting the grand jury decision and what it called a series of fatal police shootings involving Mexican nationals.

Mexico, too, is calling for the U.S. Justice Department to intervene.


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