A former Mesquite police officer who shot an unarmed man twice while responding to a suspicious person call has been found not guilty on an aggravated assault by a public servant charge.
Derick Wiley, 37, was on trial a second time after jurors couldn't agree on a verdict last year. A Dallas County jury acquitted him Monday.
Wiley cried and hugged family and friends after the verdict was read in court. Several Mesquite police officers were in the courtroom during the five-day trial and embraced Wiley at its end.
“Just praying to God that I got a 'not guilty,'" Wiley said. "And when I saw him read from that sheet I said, ‘It’s over. It’s finally over with.’”
Wiley was criminally charged in the shooting 32-year-old Lyndo Jones. Wiley responded to a report of a suspicious person Nov. 8, 2017, in the 1300 block of South Town East Boulevard in Mesquite.
Jones, who was unarmed, was shot twice in the back. Wiley testified that he believed Jones was armed.
After the verdict was read, Justin Moore, Jones attorney, said they were "shocked."
"The video was as clear as day," he said. "We saw an officer shoot an unarmed man twice in the back with his hands up pleading to not shoot. It’s as clear as day.”
"And I speak on behalf of Lyndo – he’s devastated," Moore continued. "We’re devastated for him.”
Jones has filed a civil lawsuit against Wiley and the city of Mesquite.
“The City of Mesquite respects the decision of the jury. Due to pending litigation, we have no further statement at this time," said Mesquite city manager Cliff Keheley in a written statement.
Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt said he was "deeply disappointed" by the verdict. Merritt is representing Jones in the federal civil suit.
He said the former officer "violated policies and procedures when he shot Mr. Jones in the back as he ran from him."
Meanwhile, Wiley said he wants to return to work as an officer.
"[It's] my God-chosen profession," he said. "It’s what I was put down here to do."
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