Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - November 2009
Copyright 2009 - Polk County Publishing Company
DPS moves to fire Trooper for use of excessive force during arrest
Houston County Courier - November 2009
AUSTIN - On Friday, Oct. 23 Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw gave a preliminary notice of discharge to DPS Trooper Arturo Perez for misconduct that included using excessive force during an Oct. 10 arrest on the Dallas North Tollway.
Based on readily observable evidence from the Trooper's in-car video,
Director McCraw also ordered an immediate criminal investigation by the Texas Rangers. Excessive force during an arrest can result in criminal charges for official oppression under the Texas Penal Code.
"Our Troopers receive the best instruction available in the world on use of force issues, and we do not tolerate behavior that so clearly contradicts that training as evident in this instance," Director McCraw said. "Ultimately, it is my obligation to remove from duty any employee who cannot perform consistent with our training, standards and mission to provide public safety."
The Rangers' investigation will be presented to the Dallas County
District Attorney's Office. (The video is evidence in an ongoing criminal case and will be released when the criminal case is complete.)
Trooper Perez, 42, had almost 16 years of service with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice before attending the DPS Academy in 2006 and serving about 3-1/2 years as a Trooper. Perez was stationed in Waco when he graduated from the academy, then transferred to Ennis in February 2008. He transferred to the Dallas North Tollway in July 2009.
Perez exercised his legal option to retire before the mandatory due process was completed on his notice of discharge.
"This employee had worked in state and military service for almost 24 years. He had a legal right to retire from state service and exercised that right before the termination was final," Director McCraw said.