A Dallas County grand jury decided not to indict Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata over allegations of evidence tampering in the case against Amber Guyger, his attorney said Tuesday.
Mata was accused of helping Guyger get special treatment in the moments after she shot and killed 26-year-old Botham Jean inside his apartment in September 2018. Trial evidence showed that Mata spoke with Guyger at the scene of the shooting and asked another officer to turn off a camera inside a squad car so Mata and Guyger could speak privately. Mata said she was about to take a call from her lawyer and she had the right to attorney-client privilege.
The testimony prompted an investigation by the department's public integrity unit.
"Mike Mata did absolutely nothing wrong in protecting an officer's rights and the grand jury's decision confirms that," Robert Rogers, an attorney for Mata, said in a statement to NBC 5. "It is a tremendous relief that things like the constitution, law and facts still matter."
"I am prayerful that the Botham Jean family, our police officers and our city can now unite, find closure and work together to become the nation’s model for policing that reflects community partnerships, trust and legitimacy," Dallas Chief of Police Renee Hall said in a statement early Wednesday.
Mata could not be immediately reached for comment late Tuesday.
"Any citizen has a right to attorney-client privilege. We do not tape that. It's against the law to tape that. So that's why the camera was turned off," Mata told NBC 5 last year.
The latest news from around North Texas.
Guyger, 31, was convicted of murder and sentenced to serve 10 years in prison.