When the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas has a complaint, it’s best to pay attention.
And CLEAT, which says it has more than 19,500 members and is “the largest police officers union in Texas,” has lodged a stinging complaint with the state Attorney General’s Office against Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson.
With respect, we’ve paid attention to CLEAT’s complaint, but it’s hard to give it any credibility. In fact, it’s hard to see what CLEAT is really up to.
Other than being a strong union, CLEAT’S main claim to fame is that is “the largest provider of legal services for Texas law enforcement officers.”
CLEAT is working on behalf of a Fort Worth police officer who shot 33-year-old David Brandon Collie last July on the city’s west side. The complaint comes because Wilson’s office released a police video to Collie’s attorney almost four months after the shooting.
But the Public Information Act, under which the complaint was filed, actually required that release.
CLEAT might have a better complaint against Collie’s attorney, Nate Washington, for later making the tape public in an unrelated police matter. But against Wilson? No way.
CLEAT says Wilson’s office “has clearly tainted the jury pool” should the shooting of Collie be referred to a grand jury and the officer be indicted and sent to trial.
That sounds pretty bad. But if it comes to that, a judge can decide whether an impartial jury can be seated for the trial.