A state jury has acquitted 41-year-old Kelly Anthony Flack of murder in the 2015 shooting death of an officer who officers claim mistook his ballistic vest for a firearm. Jurors found Flack not guilty of first-degree murder on Friday, setting the stage for him to become the first openly gay officer in the state of Texas to face trial and conviction for murdering a fellow officer.
Flack, the former President of the Fraternal Order of Police in Midland, claims that Officer Mathew Alexander choked him, prompting him to shoot the officer, who responded after calls were made saying that Flack was acting belligerently. The officers were investigating two unrelated incidents when they stopped Flack’s car during which an altercation occurred. When Alexander left his squad car to confront Flack, the officer claims that he suspected that Flack had a weapon when his shirt became foggy.
According to another of Flack’s attorneys, the shooter was likely very confused when he saw Alexander’s badge and realized the policeman had an angle toward his face. Alexander’s body camera did not capture the moment in which he allegedly grabbed Flack’s neck but the footage that was released did record a glimpse of the encounter. “Some people are reticent to give their versions of what happened,” said another defense attorney, saying that the jurors seemed to have listened to his argument.
The murder charges were placed against Flack despite the Texas Officer’s Association having reportedly pushed for Alexander to be cleared in 2017. The president of the Fraternal Order of Police insisted that Flack made what he believed to be a self-defense decision.
Alexander’s widow, Kim Alexander, still believes that his death was intentional and told the Daily News that, “I just want to know what happened that night that he lost his life, knowing that he didn’t put anyone else in danger.” Her brother, William Rains, chimed in and said that “this thing was a domestic violence matter.”
The incident marks the latest in a long line of criticism of the Texas police force. Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn claimed during the trial that these cases highlight the “worry[ing] number of excessive police shootings” in the state, as the state capital has had a high rate of fatal shootings by its officers.
Read the full story at the Washington Post.
Texas trooper suspended over excessive force video, then vindicated
Texas lieutenant is ‘epitome of the modern policeman’
Texas police officer killed while walking his dog