Wednesday, June 15, 2016

No prosecution for SA cop who assaulted DWI suspect

Grits sent off an open record request this morning to the San Antonio PD about this case in which, "A veteran San Antonio Police officer was suspended 30 days earlier this year after he admitted to punching a drunk driving suspect eight times in the head while trying to get him to comply with a blood draw." Notably, "The district attorney's office declined to pursue a charge against [the suspect] for resisting arrest." If there turns out to be footage, perhaps I'll compile another short web video.

One wonders, beyond the thirty-day suspension from his job - which Zimmerman covered using "accrued holiday time," so he really never missed a day - why this officer wasn't subjected to criminal charges for assaulting the suspect, just as you or I would be if we hit someone in the head eight times in the central magistrate's office at the jail.?

See related, recent Grits posts:

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

I may have missed it, but where does it say the cop won't be prosecuted? I see where it says the suspect won't be prosecuted for resisting arrest, but the DA's Office would have two or three years to bring charges, depending on the charge.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@12:15: Judging from the coverage, authorities don't seem to be treating this as a criminal case against the cop. If and when they do, I'll update.

Until then, there's no mention anywhere of any except on-the-job consequences. No arrest, no taking the case before a grand jury, etc.. It happened months ago and the guy's still working - covered his suspension with leave time and never missed a day. There's simply no public indication BCDAO intends to prosecute him, though I suppose you're right, in the complete absence of evidence, anything COULD happen. My point is there's so far no outward indication it will. And the cases described in the links at the end of the post don't provide much cause for optimism.

Anonymous said...

If the DA goes after these criminal cops their brothers in blue will start screwing their cases plus all the prosecuted cops will be of no use to the DA in those cases brought by the criminal cops. The police union will defeat the sitting DA in the election...so the corruption goes on.

Anonymous said...

On top of any video, due to his suspension, there would be an IA record or two documenting why he was suspended. It's sad that the local media isn't digging into this. Then again, why isn't the victim filing charges here? Most people don't like 8 blows to the head.

W Halstead said...

It is irresponsible to report a conclusion ("No prosecution for SA cop") without inquiring into the facts. No one from "Grits" or any other media outlet has called the Bexar County DA's office inquiring into the status of any potential charges. The office is still reviewing the case and will respond appropriately.

Phil Dick said...

It doesn't take the DA 6 months to file assault charges against a private citizen now does it?

The DA will keep reviewing until the public forgets about it and a cash settlement is paid out. Then it will quietly end.

Anonymous said...

@W Halstead

Still reviewing the case? *Still* reviewing the case?! Let me help review the case to speed things along. Is there a video of the incident? (yes|no) Was there an IA investigation that determined an assault occurred? (yes|no) Was the person who was investigated subsequently punished for violating a use of force policy? (yes|no) Let's see, if you answered "yes" three times, the case review is complete. File the charges or announce you dropped the case. There's not supposed to be one process for regular citizens and another much more complicated process for law enforcement.

Reminder: we weed out the bad cops, so that the good cops can enjoy the good reputation they've earned through their fine service. If we don't weed bad cops out, everyone looks bad. Make some choices and get the job done.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@W Halstead, I made an observation about the current state of affairs. There has been no prosecution and by your commentary, the DA is reviewing the case but has not acted. As I said above, when that status changes, I'll update. Till then, there is no prosecution.

While we wait, ask yourself this: If any non-cop had hit someone in the head eight times in the magistrate's office, would the DA's office have been silent regarding its intentions this many months after the incident?

Anonymous said...

Cops are rarely prosecuted. Prosecutors go to great lengths to decide NOT to prosecute. Nothing will change until criminal behavior committed by cops is treated criminally. When he does it again, I think he has been encouraged to do so by his superiors and the prosecutor. They should be prosecuted along with him. Unnecessary violence by police is exactly what a free society cannot tolerate.

Anonymous said...

No smiling in your mug shot ( unless you're Tom Delay ) if you don't want to be choked in Harris County.
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/sheriff-deputies-choke-texas-inmate-smiling-mugshot-article-1.2667685

Anonymous said...

The guy who was beaten needs to pay a visit to the cop's family. That's how you end this constant cycle of abuse. Take the war to their door. After a few family members of cops are skinned alive this will stop. Guaranteed. Until then, cops will do as they please.

Anonymous said...

Look, Nico is a little busy commenting on Facebook and mysa.com articles to worry about something as trivial as a cop assaulting an arrested defendant...

http://www.expressnews.com/news/news_columnists/brian_chasnoff/article/Stoner-lawyer-calls-LaHood-a-bully-8214867.php

Anonymous said...

02:01.Amen

Anonymous said...

12:29, it will never stop until the prosecutors and pigs are burned.

Anonymous said...

Is this the case in SA where the police stopped a man who was diabetic - was having an attack and drove probably swerving a bit to get off the road and avoid any injuries to anyone. The police told him to get out of the car - his body jerked and swayed as they do without sufficient insulin. They beat him; broke his ribs;
sent him for a stay in the hospital for over a week - was not expected to live - has had many medical issues since. His wife was in the hospital; he had been visiting her and was returning home when the police took it upon themselves to render him harm.

The family sued - FOR ONE THING ONLY - they sought to have the SAPD agree to provide proper training for their officers as respects identification of diabetics and how to treat them. They will not accept after almost two years.

This is enough to make one very sad and fearful. What type of society are we living in when the medically ill are mistreated.

Anonymous said...

3:26PM I agree that with a little effort and cooperation the SAPD officers should have been able to make a reasonable determination that he was diabetic. If not, more training would probably help. Mistreatment should not occur.

Should the diabetic who was having an attack be allowed to continue to possess a driver license and operate a vehicle?

Anonymous said...

3:51, maybe not, but that is an administrative decision for the licensing authority and depends on the Dr's opinion of the illness and its how treatable it is. Even if this guy's condition was because of intoxication, these officers should have been fired and charged with assault. They are not as Judge Dread says, The Law.

Anonymous said...

Grits - I don't support punching the guy, but can you explain the exact process by which you (Grits) would have obtained the blood draw (assuming you're the officer) in this exact case?

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think allowing fored blood draw is an abomination. There's no reason to allow an invasive procedure like that.