Crime

Grapevine protesters push for release of video in police shooting

About a dozen protesters marched up and down Grapevine's Main Street demanding justice for Ruben Garcia Villalpando, who was fatally shot by a Grapevine police officer.
About a dozen protesters marched up and down Grapevine's Main Street demanding justice for Ruben Garcia Villalpando, who was fatally shot by a Grapevine police officer. Star-Telegram

The crowd was smaller but the message remained the same.

About a dozen protesters converged on Main Street on Tuesday night to push for justice in the Feb. 20 shooting death of a Mexican national by a Grapevine police officer.

Ruben García Villalpando, 31, was shot twice in the chest by officer Robert Clark on the Texas 121 service road in Euless after a brief car chase.

The shooting was condemned by the Mexican government and by relatives and friends of García, who maintain that he should not have been shot.

Last week, more than 200 people protested at Grapevine City Hall, chanting “Hands up, don’t shoot!” and “Are you going to kill me?”

Police have said that García got out of his truck and walked toward Clark even though the officer repeatedly told him to stop.

On Tuesday, the protesters chanted, “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now.”

The protest was organized by Next Generation Action Network, a human-rights group.

Next Generation’s Kelly Wick said the group plans to be in downtown Grapevine every Tuesday until the officer’s dash-cam video is made public.

“We are not going to stop until the video is released. That’s our main objective,” she said.

Acting on a directive from the Tarrant County district attorney’s office, Grapevine police have not released the video.

A Tarrant County grand jury will review the case, which is being investigated by Euless police.

Euless police Lt. Eric Starnes has told the Star-Telegram that he agrees that the video should not be released, saying it could poison the jury pool.

Next Generation’s Dominique Alexander called on District Attorney Sharen Wilson to authorize the release of the video.

“What she is doing is failing the system,” Alexander said.

García, of North Richland Hills, worked as a mechanic in Lewisville and was married with four children.

Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770

Twitter: @dussssstin

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