Cop Who Shot at Dog But Killed the Owner Instead Just Got Off

Former Arlington, Texas, rookie cop Ravinder Singh was acquitted Monday in the 2019 fatal shooting of a woman whose dog came after him.

A former Arlington, Texas, cop who shot and killed a woman while aiming at her dog has been found not guilty of criminally negligent homicide.

On Monday after 10 hours of deliberation, a jury in Tarrant County concluded that Ravinder Singh, 28, shouldn’t be sent to prison for the death of 30-year-old Margarita Brooks. The decision follows a four-day trial in which defense attorneys for Singh argued he had a reasonable fear to believe Brooks’ dog, who was running toward him when he arrived on the scene, was going to attack him and the paramedic behind him.

“This is a fluke. This is an accident,” defense attorney Kathy Lowthorp said during her closing statements, the Star-Telegram reported. “Accidents happen.”

On Aug. 1, 2019, Singh was responding to a 911 call about a woman who had passed out at a nearby shopping center. While canvassing the area during the welfare check, he noticed Brooks lying in the grass near the location, according to body camera footage.

The video shows Singh calling out to Brooks and asking if she’s OK; she responds that she’s fine.

But within seconds of their short exchange, Brooks’ dog begins running toward the officer. He says, “Get back!” before drawing his weapon and firing three times. 

While the dog was only grazed, one of the bullets ricocheted off the ground and struck Brooks in the heart.

“What the fuck!” Brooks can be heard screaming in the footage. “Oh my god! Police shot me!”

Brooks was rushed to the hospital but could not be saved. Her death was ruled a homicide.

Singh, who had graduated from the academy in February 2019 and completed field training just a month before the shooting, was suspended as the department began an investigation into the fatal incident. He resigned from his post in November 2019.

Defense attorneys argued that the former cop experienced tunnel vision, causing him to focus solely on the immediate threat quickly approaching him the day of the fatal shooting.

Meanwhile, prosecutors argued that the cop’s actions were negligent and cost the life of an innocent person. During one moment of witness testimony, a homicide detective told jurors if he were in a similar scenario, he wouldn’t have fired his gun.

“I’d probably kick it,” Detective Mac Simmons told Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Tim Rodgers, according to the Star-Telegram. “I’d rather take a bite than be in that situation.”

After the trial, Singh spoke to reporters outside of the courtroom, offering his condolences to Brooks’ family and loved ones.

“I, too, have been at a loss, because the outcome of my actions has not been easy to bear,” Singh said. “It has been my intention to serve my country as a United States Marine and an Arlington police officer. I am deeply sorry.”

While the criminal trial in the case may be over, a wrongful death lawsuit filed in federal court by Brooks’ father last year is still pending. Troy Brooks, who is being represented by civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, is suing Singh and the city of Arlington for $1 million, as well as the cost of his daughter’s medical and funeral expenses.

Merritt did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Follow Trone Dowd on Twitter.

Tagged:

police, Policing, texas, police use of force, Wrongful death

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