A Forest Hill officer who shot and killed a murder suspect over the summer was arrested last week, making him at least the eighth Dallas-Fort Worth police officer to face criminal charges after fatally shooting someone since 2017.
Logan Barr, 23, faces a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in the case, according to a Texas Rangers warrant. Barr fired his shotgun twice at 32-year-old Michael Lee Ross Jr. on the morning of June 9.
Ross held a knife, but Texas Ranger Eisenhower Upshaw determined that he posed no threat to Barr because he was as far as 20 feet away from Forest Hill officers when Barr shot him, according to the warrant obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Wednesday. Ross was facing Barr and a Forest Hill sergeant with his hands down by his side, holding the knife in his right hand, according to the warrant.
The sergeant had told Barr to get his “less lethal” shotgun, which fires beanbag rounds, but Barr retrieved and fired a regular shotgun, according to the warrant.
There is no governmental agency that publicly tracks or disseminates data about police violence or officers who are charged with crimes. The public relies on other resources for data, such as the the Washington Post’s police shooting database and a Police Integrity research group at Bowling Green State University.
Convictions are rare for officers who fatally shoot someone, according to data. Between 2015 and mid-2017, about 35 percent of officers arrested in fatal on-duty shootings were convicted of manslaughter or murder charges, according to a 2017 research paper from Philip Stinson of Bowling Green State University.
Police shot and killed 394 people in the line of duty in Texas since 2017, according to the Washington Post’s database. Seven officers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have been indicted since 2017 in connection with killing someone. Three of those officers have been convicted.
In September 2020, jurors indicted ex-Arlington officer Ravinder Singh on a charge of criminally negligent homicide. Singh shot and killed Margarita Brooks as she lay on the grass behind a shopping center in August 2019. He had fired his gun toward Brooks’ dog, but one of his shots killed the 30-year-old woman, authorities have said. Singh was responding to a call to check on Brooks’ welfare.
Aaron Dean, a former Fort Worth police officer, was indicted on a murder charge in December 2019 for fatally shooting Atatiana Jefferson, 28, in her home in October 2019. His trial date has not yet been set.
In October 2019, Amber Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison after she shot and killed 26-year-old Botham Jean in his apartment on Sept. 6, 2018. She said she thought she had walked into her own apartment and that Jean was an intruder, causing her to fear for her life.
In June 2019, a Farmers Branch officer was indicted on a murder charge. Michael Dunn fatally shot Juan “Johnny” Moreno, 35, in Dallas while firing into a moving truck. A court date was set for July 12, but was postponed.
In May 2019, a Tarrant County grand jury handed up an indictment for Arlington Officer Bau Tran, who shot and killed O’Shae Terry, 24, on Sept. 1, 2018, after another officer stopped Terry. His case is still active.
In August 2018, ex-Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver was found guilty of murder in the April 2017 death of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, after Oliver fatally shot him while firing into the back of a 2004 black Impala. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
In December 2017, former Farmers Branch officer Ken Johnson was convicted of murder and felony aggravated assault in connection with a March 2016 incident in which he — while off-duty — chased down two teens in Addison who had stolen seats from his SUV, fatally shooting one of them and seriously injuring another. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Black and Hispanic people are shot and killed by police at a higher rate than white people, according to data from the Washington Post. Black people, for example, account for less than 13 percent of the U.S. population, but are killed by police at more than twice the rate of white people.