Richard Roper Quoted in Austin American-Statesman on Police Role in Teen's Death

“DA seeks FBI review of police role in Texas teen’s death”

In a last-ditch effort to pursue criminal charges against the Mesquite police officers who avoided accountability for the death of a teenager in their custody only because too much time had passed, representatives from the Dallas County district attorney’s office this week met with FBI agents to determine if federal laws might yet provide an avenue to justice.

Richard Roper, a 20-year federal prosecutor who also served as the former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas from 2004 to 2008, said he’d reviewed the tapes. “It’s bad,” he said. “The video certainly raises substantial questions.”

Still, he said that bringing federal charges against the Mesquite police would be difficult. In order to make a case the officers violated the statute, federal investigators would have to show the police knew they were placing Graham at a substantial risk of harm even as they were doing it. “It’s a big burden,” he said.