A Dallas County grand jury Thursday declined to indict several Dallas police officers and a paramedic who handcuffed and restrained a woman before she became unresponsive and died last year, according to attorneys involved.
LaDamonyon “DeeDee” Hall died May 26 in authorities’ care after officers and Dallas Fire-Rescue were called to reports of a disturbance in the 12000 block of Garland Road in Far East Dallas. A nearly 40-minute video released by police 13 days after Hall died showed officials pinning her down, handcuffing her and taking her to the hospital with a spit hood over her head as she fought and yelled.
Justin Moore, who represents Hall’s family, called the grand jury’s decision an “affront to justice” in a written statement. He said police misgendered Hall, and a paramedic “callously neglected her.”
Dallas police did not immediately provide comment. Dallas police previously named Jon Leach, Alan Hovis, Benjamin Lambourne and Brandon Pryor as the officers involved. It was not immediately clear if any other officers were involved in the grand jury proceeding.
Dallas Fire-Rescue declined to comment Thursday. The agency had previously declined to identify any employees involved in Hall’s detention, but suspended the credentials of two paramedics who were in the ambulance with Hall, according to agency spokesman Jason Evans. It was not immediately clear Thursday whether the paramedics’ credentials were still suspended.
An autopsy concluded Hall, a 47-year-old Black transgender woman, died from combined toxic effects of cocaine, methamphetamines and PCP. Her death was ruled an accident, the Dallas County medical examiner’s office previously told The Dallas Morning News. Hall’s family said later she was experiencing a mental health episode when officers approached her.
Hall’s family requested an independent autopsy and the results “highlighted the negligence of the paramedic and officer [sic] involved,” Moore said Thursday. That autopsy report, reviewed by The News, said acute heart failure due to strenuous physical activity, complicated by how she was restrained, contributed to her death.
At a news conference last year, Hall’s family accused first responders of dismissing Hall’s repeated cries of distress and dehumanizing her. At multiple points in the video, Hall can be heard saying “I’m dying” or “I’m dead” to officers.
Moore lambasted the Dallas County district attorney’s office’s handling of the case, saying they did not properly scrutinize the evidence and “failed to deliver justice in the face of blatant negligence.”
Claire Crouch, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, said prosecutors do not recommend whether grand juries indict or decline to indict.
“We present everything, on all cases, regardless of if it involves police officers or not,” the statement said. “Furthermore, the DA’s Office does not indict cases, grand juries do.”
Attorney Zach Horn, who represents the Dallas police officers, said “we send our condolences to Ms. Hall’s family on her unfortunate passing, but any suggestion that my clients were in any way responsible for her death is ludicrous. Based on the real facts of this case, I suspect this was an easy call for the grand jury.”
It was unclear whether the paramedic had an attorney.
Hall’s death prompted the city’s Community Police Oversight Board to review Dallas police’s video-release policy. The department’s policies say such videos should be released within 72 hours of the incident, but Chief Eddie García has discretion to withhold the release of any video related to a critical police-involved incident.
Police oversight monitor Tonya McClary previously said she went “to battle” with Dallas police over the release of footage in Hall’s death. The department has said the delay was so the family could review the video.