Fort Worth march will protest police-involved deaths of 3 men

Kelvin Goldston
Kelvin Goldston Handout

A march to protest the deaths of three men after encounters with police is scheduled for Saturday afternoon in downtown Fort Worth.

Relatives, friends and supporters plan to gather at 1 p.m. at Eighth and Main streets at General Worth Square and begin marching at 2 p.m. to the Tarrant County Courthouse in what participants say is a quest for justice and a protest of police brutality.

“We need our voices to be heard,” said Fernando Romero, the brother-in-law of Rubén García Villalpando, who was killed by a Grapevine police officer. “We need to get the federal government to look at these cases. We don’t want this to be just another case.”

García, 31, of North Richland Hills, was fatally shot Feb. 20 by Grapevine officer Robert Clark after a brief pursuit that ended on the shoulder of a Texas 121 service road in Euless.

García, who was drunk, got out of his vehicle with his hands up and was shot when he continued to walk toward Clark despite being repeatedly told to stop. This month, a Tarrant County grand jury declined to indict Clark.

Glenn Waters of Midland, a cousin of Jonathan Paul, 42, who died March 13 at Arlington Memorial Hospital — four days after his arrest by Arlington police — said he hopes to make the march.

Paul’s death was ruled an “in-custody death with application of physical restraints,” according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office. The cause of death, however, has not been determined.

Arlington police said this week that the investigation is almost complete and that the results are expected to be submitted to the district attorney’s office within a week.

Paul was arrested after police had responded to a disturbance call. Police described him as agitated and noncompliant while he was at the Arlington Jail. A lawsuit filed in federal court this week says that an unidentified officer is believed to have killed Paul and that Arlington officials are responsible for that officer’s behavior and lack of training.

“I want the men who were responsible for his death held accountable,” Waters said. “I wish they would step forward, but I know that will not happen. When healthy people are taken to jail for a misdemeanor, they should come out as healthy people. They should not die.”

Regina Goldston, the mother of Kelvin Goldston, who was fatally shot by Fort Worth police May 11 after striking an approaching narcotics officer with his truck, said she is committed to finding justice for her son.

“This will be a journey, and we will not stop until my son finds justice,” Regina Goldston said.

Police were conducting surveillance on a house in southwest Fort Worth for suspected drug activity when Kelvin Goldston backed out of the driveway and onto the street. A marked patrol car pulled in front of his pickup and an unmarked police vehicle behind it.

Two officers were approaching the pickup — a uniformed officer from the front and a plainclothes narcotics officer from the rear — when Goldston put the truck in reverse and accelerated, striking the plainclothes officer, a 23-year veteran of the department. The officer approaching from the front opened fire, hitting Goldston, 30, several times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Goldston had 14 convictions dating to 2006, according to Tarrant County records. At the time of the shooting, he had an active arrest warrant for multiple probation violations.

Among the groups supporting the march are the Next Generation Action Network and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752

Twitter: @mitchmitchel3