DALLAS — Three former Dallas police officers have been indicted by a grand jury Thursday in the September 5 beating of Andrew Collins, a story first reported by WFAA earlier this month.
After asking for a week to see the patrol car video that showed the beating which followed a brief chase, it was finally released to News 8.
The indictments have now followed with unprecedented speed, just a couple of weeks after the case was brought to light
The officers will be arrested. They will have to turn themselves in. They will be tried in a criminal court.
Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins says this is an important case. He said the swift justice is based on the evidence provided by the dashcam video.
"We thought when we had the videotape that it was pretty clear-cut," Watkins said.
Kevin Randolph — who is seen in the video hitting Andrew Collins with his baton — was indicted for first degree aggravated assault by a public servant, official oppression, and tampering with a government record.
Paul Bauer — who was driving the squad car and is seen punching Collins — was indicted on aggravated assault and official oppression.
Henry Duetsch — who is accused of turning the video camera in his squad car to allegedly avoid capturing what is going on — was indicted for tampering with physical evidence.
"No one is above the law," Watkins said. "If you break the law in Dallas County, we will pursue those charges against you."
Usually it takes six to eight months for a grand jury to even hear a case. It's unusual for indictments to be handed up so quickly.
There are other cases of officers facing serious charges that have yet to go to grand jury, so Watkins — who faces re-election next month — was asked if politics played a role.
"If politics played a part in this, then we wouldn't pursue cases for the whole year," he said. "This is an election year, but just because it's an election year, we can't stop the justice system."
The three indicted officers are facing very serious charges. The aggravated assault charge is a first-degree felony punishable from five years to life in prison if convicted.
The FBI is continuing a federal civil rights investigation associated with the beating incident.
Collins' criminal record includes convictions on drug, weapons and drunken driving charges, according to Texas Department of Public Safety records. Five of his previous eight arrests were by Dallas police.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.