Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata made a decision to stop the recording of a squad car dashcam while Amber Guyger spoke to her attorney on the phone.
While his decision, which came to light during the Guyger murder trial for the killing of Botham Jean, created an uproar among civil rights groups and the community, Mata has the support of the Texas Fraternal Order of Police, CBS reports.
“In his role as DPA President, he had a legal responsibility to request recording devices in a squad car be turned off as Officer Amber Guyber was going to talk to her attorney on her cell phone,” the Texas Fraternal Order of Police President Steve Stribley said in a statement Wednesday (October 3).
Prosecutors used security camera video during the trial to illustrate how Mata acted improperly upon arriving at the scene of the crime on September 6, 2018, when Guyger shot and killed Jean while he was in his apartment. Guyger said she thought it was her apartment and that Jean was an intruder.
“Even a first-year law student knows that her conversation was protected under attorney-client privilege and any effort to record such confidential communication would be illegal,” Stribley said in the statement.
He added that lead prosecutor, Jason Hermus, “was willing to make a despicable, false, and theatrical accusation to win a conviction, even if it meant deteriorating the public’s trust in the Dallas Police Department and discrediting a decorated police officer who has spent the last 25 years of his life protecting families.”
Patrick Yoes, the National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, echoed Stribley's sentiments and said he felt “it was so grossly irresponsible that I believe it constitutes prosecutorial misconduct.”