On January 21, 2020, Darius Jerrell Tarver was recovering at home from a serious head injury sustained during a near-fatal car accident that required medical attention. His neighbors reached out to the Denton Police Department to check on him — instead of help, they sent four officers who tased him and shot him to death. None of these officers have been disciplined, and all of them remain on active duty. Rather than a wellness check performed by a mental health professional, a young student in need of help was presented with violence and threats.
Darius’s father, Kevin Tarver, a Police Department Chaplain, viewed footage of the incident before it was released and believes it sharply contradicts the police narrative. The Denton Police Department attacked Darius, despite his clear need for medical attention. They tased and shot him while he was standing completely still and helpless because they said he "appeared" to be preparing to attack. They missed multiple opportunities to safely arrest Darius, choosing instead to use lethal force unnecessarily.
It took weeks of demands from Darius’s father and community leaders for the Denton Police Department to release footage of the incident. Despite the carefully controlled presentation of evidence by Police Chief Frank Dixon, it is clear that DPD officers unnecessarily escalated what should have been a welfare call. Despite this, all officers involved in the murder of Darius Tarver have returned to regular duty and are back on the streets. Furthermore, Denton County District Attorney Paul Johnson has ignored cries for transparency and accountability from the family and community.
Darius Tarver had a bright future ahead of him.
Darius was on the Dean’s List at UNT and set to graduate with a degree in Criminal Justice. He had hoped to pursue a career in Law Enforcement.
Since Darius' murder, his family has NOT received justice.
Enough is enough.
Qualified Immunity does not equal Qualified Impunity.
Justice WILL be served. Help us balance the Scales of Injustice.