The president of the Dallas Police Association defended his actions in the immediate aftermath of a white police officer fatally shooting her black neighbor in his own home. Surveillance video entered into evidence during former officer Amber Guyger‘s criminal trial shows Sergeant Mike Mata leaning into a patrol car where Guyger was sitting after she killed Botham Jean.
Mata told another officer to turn off the car’s dashboard camera. Prosecutors suggested Mata acted improperly.
During the trial, Assistant District Attorney Jason Hermus said Mata didn’t have the authority to turn the camera off. In an interview with CBS News correspondent Omar Villafranca, Mata defended his actions.
“The only reason I asked for that camera to be off is because the attorney was calling the officer, and that is attorney-client privilege, and that’s a right every citizen has, regardless if you’re a police officer or not,” Mata told Villafranca. Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall has said she would launch an internal investigation into Mata’s actions.
Mata said he welcomed the investigation because he said he didn’t do anything wrong. Civil rights groups have called for Mata’s firing, CBS station KTVT reports.
Guyger was convicted of murdering Jean and sentenced to 10 years in prison this week. Her attorneys are expected to file an appeal.