Rookie cop, 26, is indicted for accidentally killing mother-of-three, 30, while shooting her unrestrained dog during welfare check
Ravi Singh, formerly of the Arlington Police Department, was indicted by a Tarrant County grand jury on criminally negligent homicide charges Wednesday
Singh shot and killed homeless woman Margarita ‘Maggie’ Brooks, 30, during a welfare check in August 2019 when he opened fire on her advancing dog
Jones, a mother-of-three, was shot in the chest and later died in hospital
Singh had only graduated from the police academy in February 2019, and completed field training on July 1 – one month before the shooting
If convicted, Singh faces a maximum of two years in prison and a $10,000 fine
‘Our hope is not only that this officer is held responsible for Maggie’s death, but that the Arlington Police Department is also held accountable for its lack of training and procedures in responding to welfare checks,’ victim’s family
The victim’s dad, Troy Brooks, an Arlington fire captain, believes his daughter’s death was avoidable
He was hoping the charges would be more severe
A former police officer in Arlington, Texas was indicted Wednesday in the fatal shooting of a homeless woman last year.
Rookie police officer Ravi Singh was conducting a welfare check on a woman who had passed out in a public area when he opened fire at a dog racing towards him and inadvertently struck her.
Ravi Singh, formerly of the Arlington Police Department, was indicted by a Tarrant County grand jury on criminally negligent homicide charges Wednesday in relation to the August 2019 shooting death of Margarita Brooks.
Singh, 26, was responding to a call of a woman who reportedly passed out in a grassy area near the intersection of Cantor Drive and North Collins Street on August 1 when he killed 30-year-old Brooks, the daughter of an Arlington fire captain.
Body cam shows moment Arlington officer, Ravi Singh shoots, kills woman while aiming for her dog
Ravi Singh, formerly of the Arlington Police Department, was indicted by a Tarrant County grand jury on criminally negligent homicide charges Wednesday in relation to the August 2019 shooting death of 30-year-old Brooks during a welfare check in a public setting.
Bodycam footage shows that as the officer Singh approached Jones, he notices her unrestrained dog, which then begins to bark.
‘Hello, are you OK? Is that your dog?’ Singh is heard calling out. Brooks replies that she’s fine, but suddenly her dog begins racing towards the officer.
‘Get back!’ the officer yells, as the barking dog charges toward him. He begins to back up and then fires three shots.
Brooks is then heard screaming ‘what the f***. Oh my god – the police shot me!’ and continues to cry out in pain.
One year later Ravi Singh, formerly of the Arlington Police Department, was indicted by a Tarrant County grand jury on criminally negligent homicide charges in relation to the August 2019 shooting death of Brooks, a mother-of-three during a wellness check.
The bodycam video shows the events unfold, leading to the shooting.
As Singh walks toward Brooks, he tells her: ‘Ma’am, get a hold of your dog.’
Jones suffered a single gunshot wound to the upper torso. She was taken to Medical City Arlington Hospital but later died from her injuries.
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Brooks’ cause of death a homicide and the case was handed over to the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office for presentation to the grand jury.
The victim’s dog, a 40-pound lab mix, survived the shooting.
Three months after the incident, Singh resigned from the Arlington Police Department amid an internal administrative investigation in to whether he followed departmental policy and training standards.
Singh joined the department in 2012 as a detention officer. He graduated from the police academy in February 2019, and completed field training on July 1, exactly one month before the shooting.
He had been placed on leave while the internal investigation was carried out.
‘We are pleased that the Tarrant County Grand Jury has returned an indictment for the officer who killed Maggie,’ the Brooks family said in a statement to CBS Local.
The family welcomed the charges against Singh, but acknowledged that this is only the first step in getting justice for her.
‘Officers responding to welfare checks should not be so quick to use their deadly weapons in situations that do not call for use of force.
‘Our hope is not only that this officer is held responsible for Maggie’s death, but that the Arlington Police Department is also held accountable for its lack of training and procedures in responding to welfare checks.’
‘Get back!’ the officer yells, as the barking dog charges toward him. He begins to back up and then fires three shots The mother-of-three is heard screaming ‘what the f***. Oh my god – the police shot me!’ and continues to cry out in pain.
Brooks died from her wound in hospital.
Her father, Troy Brooks, an Arlington fire captain, said in his own statement to FOX4 that he believes the charges should’ve been more severe.
‘It’s a puppy. This is a grown man afraid of a puppy. Who is the paid professional in this encounter?
‘Every child, every mailman, every runner, jogger, bicyclist has dealt with a dog running at them and no one ends up dead. Why do you go to deadly force immediately?
‘We were hoping for a manslaughter indictment. We got what we got,’ he added.
Brooks leaves behind three children – ages nine, 11 and 13. The eldest child lives with their father, with the two younger children live with Troy Brooks.
‘Rule number one, don’t kill the citizens,’ Troy said, adding that he believed his daughter’s death was completely avoidable.
Going forward, Troy Brooks is not only lobbying for accountability in the Arlington Police Department, but across the country.
He wants money to be poured into other services to help the community directly, rather than inflating police budgets.
Brooks said the police work for the community, but his experience coupled with hundreds of other incidents across the country make him believe that isn’t true.
‘It’s not a blue life. It’s a blue shirt. And we paid for it as taxpayers,’ he told the Star Telegram.
‘You should work for us. We should define your job, not you.’
Under Texas state law, ‘a person is criminally negligent with respect to the result of his or her conduct when he or she ought to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that a particular result will occur,’ according to a news release from the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office.
If convicted of the charge, Singh faces a maximum of two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
His attorney, Kathy Lowthorp, responded to his arrest in a statement.
‘Well, when you deal with a dog that’s ready to attack then the person in any one of those careers would have to do what they have to do to protect themselves. And there was [no] malice against the daughter — she was just in the wrong place. The dog should’ve been on a leash.’
In July Brooks’ family joined local advocates in protests expressing their pain and anger over the killing of George Floyd. Speakers called on city leaders to replace outgoing police chief Will D. Johnson with someone who will treat their community with care, not violence.
Margarita’s father, Arlington Fire Department captain Troy Brooks told the crowd he is one of them, even though he is a city official.
“I know about them, [police],” he said. “Look at me. I look like one of them, don’t I?” Brooks asked.
Troy Brooks said people must call for an end to qualified immunity and police militarization if they are to enact meaningful reform.