The Denton Police Department has determined the police officer who fatally shot Darius Tarver last year won’t face any internal disciplinary action following an administrative investigation.
In a statement Thursday afternoon, the Police Department said Internal Affairs concluded an “exhaustive” investigation to determine if the officers involved followed training and Denton police procedures while responding to a disturbance in January 2020.
“Based upon the totality of the circumstances as presented to the officers on scene, and after considerable deliberation, the Chief of Police, with the unanimous agreement of the officers’ chain of command, determined that the officers’ actions that night did not violate the Civil Service Rules or the Denton Police Department policies, procedures, or training that were in place at the time,” the statement read. “As a result, no disciplinary action will be imposed against any of the officers involved. This decision does not minimize the tragic events of that night, which resulted in the death of Darius Tarver.”
The conclusion of the internal investigation comes a month after a Denton County grand jury returned a no bill for the officer. The grand jury met March 18, 2021, more than a year after Tarver’s death, to determine if charges should be filed against the officer.
Tarver, 23, was a University of North Texas student who was shot and killed by Denton police on Jan. 21, 2020. Tarver’s death sparked outrage in the Denton community as he was a Black man shot by police. One of his roommates told the Denton Record-Chronicle in 2020 that Tarver had been acting differently in the days before his death, following a car crash that sent him to the hospital.
Police were called out to The Forum Apartments early that morning after one caller reported a man was breaking light fixtures in the hall and one of Tarver’s roommates said he had barricaded one of the doors in their apartment.
Initially, the Denton Police Department wasn’t going to release the body camera footage of Tarver’s death until a grand jury decision came. Denton Police Chief Frank Dixon released the footage at a news conference on March 5, 2020, six weeks after Tarver’s death.