A witness who videotaped Fort Worth police officer Chris Jones after he stopped Daniel Brumley for running a stop sign says the subsequent altercation didn’t go down like police are saying (“Blood on Whose Hands?” Feb. 25, 2015).
Attorney Eloy Supelveda gave Fort Worth Weekly a snippet of video taken by one of the witnesses that night. The video was shot through a screen door and is grainy. Jones can be seen approaching Brumley’s driver-side door at about the 30-second mark. Brumley gets out of his car and, with Jones behind him, walks toward the back of the police car.
Police said Brumley, 27, tried to stab Jones after being pulled over at 4 a.m. on Jan. 17 in the Diamond Hill neighborhood of North Fort Worth.
At least two witnesses from different vantage points say Brumley made no attempt to resist arrest prior to being shot.
This short video doesn’t show much but offers a few insights:
The witness was indeed watching the traffic stop as he/she indicated.
Brumley did not refuse to put his hands on the hood, as a police detective stated.
“Once at the police vehicle, [Jones] instructed Brumley to place his hands on the hood of the vehicle,” the investigating detective wrote in a search warrant affidavit on Jan. 30. “Brumley faced the hood of the vehicle but refused to place his hands on the hood.”
The video shows Jones and Brumley walking past the hood of the police car toward the back of the vehicle. Perhaps the detective made a mistake and wrote “hood” instead of “trunk.” That’s not the kind of mistake you’d expect a police detective investigating a fatal shooting to make, but it’s possible.
After Brumley and Jones get to the back of the police car, another two minutes goes by before the video ends and there is still no audible evidence of a struggle. This indicates the alleged stabbing did not occur immediately after Jones took Brumley to the back of his police car.
The district attorney’s office is currently preparing the case for a grand jury.
Brumley’s family and friends have waited more than six months to find out what happened that night. Police spent about 100 days looking into the case without revealing much, and the DA has had the case since May without discussing the facts.
The long wait and tight lips have angered relatives and North Side activists who believe the police are covering up facts to protect one of their own. They wonder why a canine officer with a dog in the back seat of his police car would stop Brumley for rolling through a stop sign at 4 in the morning in a quiet neighborhood, and why Jones would take Brumley all the way to the back of the police car to arrest him after discovering Brumley had warrants. They wonder why autopsy reports show most of the shots that struck Brumley were fired at a downward angle. These and other thoughts are maddening to Brumley’s mother, Jessica Castillo. She refuses to believe Brumley became violent during a traffic stop or arrest, something he’d never done before.