The Houston Police Officers’ Union sent a letter to Harris County District Attorney Pat Pykos on Friday requesting a perjury investigation of Marvin Driver Jr. after an internal investigation cleared three officers of wrongdoing in the elder Driver’s arrest.
Union attorney Aaron Suder told The Associated Press on Saturday that the union is pursuing the case in part because the publicity it received.
“They defamed our officers in a very public way, and we have to respond in a very public way to clear the officers’ names,” Suder said.
Marvin Driver said he didn’t lie about the incident.
“I’ll stand up for the truth,” he said in Saturday’s editions of the Houston Chronicle. “If the state wants to falsely arrest me and put me behind bars, I’m still going to tell the truth.”
The district attorney’s office is reviewing the union’s request, spokeswoman Donna Hawkins said.
Because Driver signed a sworn affidavit, the charges he could face include perjury, a misdemeanor punishable by a year in jail, or filing a false report to a peace officer, a misdemeanor with a maximum jail term of six months, Suder said.
Marvin Driver was arrested outside his mother’s Houston house in November on outstanding traffic warrants. Police have said he was unresponsive when he arrived at a jail. On the advice of a jail doctor, he was taken to a hospital.
Marvin Driver said that after he was stopped, officers Gilberto Cruz, Bacilio Guzman and Matthew Marin beat him, forced open his mouth and made him swallow cocaine or crack.
Suder said police believe Driver may have swallowed is own cocaine to destroy evidence.
Family spokesman and activist Quanell X said the family hired private investigators who concluded police beat Marvin Driver. He also said the family has hired a civil attorney and is considering suing the officers.