McAllen asks judge to dismiss lawsuit against police

The city of McAllen is asking a federal judge to dismiss the final claim levied against it in a lawsuit brought by a man whose daughter was killed during a shootout between police and his daughters’ stepfather.

Hector Garcia sued the city and three police officers on Feb. 27, 2019, more than two years after Cruz Pinion, the stepfather, shot his daughters, L.L.G., a minor who survived, and 16-year-old Ashley Garcia, who died. Pinon’s wife, 42-year-old Santos Verenice Garcia was also shot and killed by Pinion, who committed suicide at the scene.

The federal lawsuit alleged civil right violations, including excessive force and a violation of due process. Those claims were dismissed in April. The three police officers were also dismissed from the case.

The only remaining claim was that the city of McAllen violated the Texas Public Information Act.

After the shooting, Garcia alleges he made multiple attempts to learn who killed his daughter — Pinon or police — by filing TPIA requests seeking incident and ballistic reports, along with dash cam video from the units that night.

The city of McAllen sought Texas Attorney General rulings on those requests, which were returned in the city’s favor, according to the motion for summary judgment.

When Garcia filed the lawsuit, however, attorneys representing McAllen allege they turned over the entire investigative file to Garcia and his attorneys.

“However, once Plaintiffs filed suit, in an effort to assist them in understanding what transpired at the tragic event that led to the untimely death of Hector Garcia’s daughter Ashley, the Defendant, City of McAllen made the calculated decision to provide to Plaintiffs the entirety of the police investigative file related to the shooting,” the motion for summary judgment stated.

For this reason, the city of McAllen argues that the lawsuit should be dismissed.

Attorneys representing Garcia have not yet responded to the motion to dismiss.