Civil Rights Division
The Bexar County District Attorney’s Office created a Civil Rights Division after Bexar County Commissioners approved funding for it in October 2020. It will handle cases of officer-involved shootings, custodial deaths and allegations of excessive use of force by law enforcement. The Civil Rights Division consists of two prosecutors, an investigator and an advocate.
The Civil Rights Division reports directly to District Attorney Joe Gonzales. When reviewing officer-involved shootings, the the division operates as follows:
- A prosecutor and the investigator will respond to the scene of an officer-involved shooting to monitor the scene. Law enforcement will still be required to conduct an investigation and file their case with our office for review.
- In the event of a death, the advocate will reach out to the family of the deceased early on, to establish a point of contact with our office. As with any other case, advocates explain the process of our office to include what happens with a case once it reaches the District Attorney’s Office.
- The Civil Rights Division will review the entire file provided by law enforcement and will conduct any necessary additional investigation.
- The Civil Rights Division will present its findings directly to the District Attorney for additional review and charging decisions.
- As has been the case since District Attorney Gonzales took office in January 2019, every case will be presented to a Grand Jury. If the Grand Jury declines to hand down an indictment (a no-bill), the District Attorney’s Office will release a publicly available memo explaining the facts of the individual case and its analysis. If the Grand Jury issues a true bill of indictment, the case would be forwarded to a court and the Office could make no comment on the pending criminal matter. It is important to note that Chapter 20 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure requires Grand Jury proceedings be kept secret. Violations of the law could lead to criminal penalties.
Because the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office is not a primary investigative agency, all reports about, or information related to criminal activity or on-going investigations should be directed to a law enforcement agency so that it may be properly investigated. The Bexar County District Attorney’s Office will not reopen a closed case without new evidence that was either not known or unavailable at the time of its filing with this office for review.
To contact the Civil Rights Division, click here.
The division is led by Assistant District Attorney Daryl Harris. Daryl has been with the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office since July 2002. He has prosecuted misdemeanor and felony offenses. Daryl has also served as the Deputy Chief of the Criminal Trial Division and Chief of the Intake Division. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Kansas State University and St. Mary’s University School of Law. Prior to joining the District Attorney’s Office, served as an officer in the United States Army retiring in 2001.
After a case has been closed, the Civil Rights Division will publish a memo detailing the facts of the case. These memos will be the only comment the Bexar County District Attorney's Office will make on these cases.