Texas officer fired after dashcam shows him punching suspect
POSTED: Thursday, September 16, 2010 - 3:38pm
UPDATED: Saturday, September 25, 2010 - 11:37am
DALLAS --- One Dallas, Texas police officer has been fired and three may face felony charges for the taped beating of a chase suspect.
Officer Kevin Randolph was fired Wednesday in connection with the excessive force investigation.
He, along with Officer Paul Bauer, may face misdemeanor assault and official oppression charges, as well as felony charges of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence in connection with the September 5th beating of Andrew Collins.
Officer Henry Walter Duetsch may also face a felony charge for tampering with evidence.
He returned to a squad car and turned the dashboard camera away from the assault according to Dallas Police Chief David Brown.
Brown said Wednesday he is recommending the charges to the Dallas County district attorney.
The officers pursued Collins for allegedly riding his motorcycle on a South Dallas sidewalk at about 9:15 p.m.
After he was stopped officers beat him with a police baton and fists while he was on the ground.
It is not clear from the video if Collins voluntarily pulled over or was bumped by the squad car.
Randolph hit Collins repeatedly with his baton and his partner, Bauer, struck Collins with his fist, police said.
Off camera, Collins can be heard begging for mercy.
Collins had visible bruises on his thigh and blood-clotting.
Video from a second car arriving after Collins was handcuffed recorded the scene for several minutes.
Then an officer can be seen walking toward the car, whistling. The camera then moves so Collins and the officers are no longer visible.
The next day, an anonymous tip left on the desk of a Dallas police sergeant asked the officer to pull video of the chase and crash.
On September 8th Chief Brown viewed the video and called in the FBI to investigate possible civil rights violations.
By Monday police had interviewed 30 people about Collins' arrest, including all of the 22 officers who responded.
None of the officers were supervisors.
Brown asked for calm and trust in the police department from Dallas residents when they see the video, which was released after his news conference Wednesday.
"Every citizen deserves a measure of respect," he said. "As chief of police for the city of Dallas, I expect citizens to hold me accountable for insuring that Dallas officers treat all citizens with fairness and compassion. No one is above the law of this great country. I am appealing to the calmer voices of the community and the police department to examine the evidence in this case and the department's investigative thoroughness and transparency."
Brown added that though there was early speculation the assault was race-related, the investigation has not revealed evidence to support those claims.
"We currently don't have evidence to that effect, and we have to deal with the facts, and the facts have to matter before we jump to those conclusions," said Brown.
Collins is black.
Of the 22 total officers who responded to the scene, at least two are Hispanic and one is black.
She arrived at the scene after the arrest to wait with the motorcycle for a wrecker.
Brown cited a transcript of the dash-cam video during the pursuit to indicate that raw emotion and premeditation were factors in the assault, not Collins' race.
"'Keep us going, I'm gonna kick the sh*t out of him,'" Brown read from transcript.
No racial slurs were heard on the radio transmissions or recordings, he said.
Brown dropped a charge of resisting arrest against Collins on Monday.