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Administrative Suspension for THIS?!!

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  • Administrative Suspension for THIS?!!



    A Victoria police officer is under investigation after a 76-year-old man accused him of using excessive force during a traffic stop.

    The officer, Nathanial Robinson, 23, was placed on administrative duty Friday pending the outcome of an internal investigation into whether he violated the use of force policy when he tased Victoria resident Pete Vasquez, said Chief J.J. Craig. The officer was hired after graduating from the police academy two years ago.

    The incident happened Thursday after Robinson saw an expired inspection sticker on the car Vasquez was driving back to Adam's Auto Mart, 2801 N. Laurent St., where he helps with mechanical work.

    Vasquez got out of the car, which is owned by the car lot, attempting to get the manager. He pointed out to the officer the dealer tags on the back of the car, which would make it exempt from having an inspection.

    Police dashboard camera video shows Robinson arresting Vasquez for the expired sticker.

    When the officer first grabbed Vasquez's arm, the older man pulled it away. Robinson then pushed Vasquez down on the hood of the police cruiser. The two fell out of the camera's video frame, but police said the officer used the Taser on Vasquez twice while he was on the ground.

    "He just acted like a pit bull, and that was it," Vasquez said. "For a while, I thought he was going to pull his gun and shoot me."

    Vasquez was handcuffed, placed in the back of the police cruiser and taken to Citizens Medical Center, where he remained in police custody for two hours.

    Craig said the police department's dash cam footage "raises some concerns."

    He decided to open the investigation after viewing the footage and has personally apologized to Vasquez for the incident.

    "Public trust is extremely important to us," Craig said. "Sometimes that means you have to take a real hard look at some of the actions that occur within the department."

    The internal investigation also will examine the details of the arrest. Driving with an expired inspection sticker is a Class C misdemeanor, typically addressed with a citation. Because Vasquez was driving a car with dealer tags, the car was exempt, Craig confirmed. Vasquez was released from the hospital without being cited.

    If the investigation finds Robinson violated the use of force policy, his possible punishment ranges from a letter of reprimand to suspension without pay or termination, Craig said.

    District Attorney Stephen Tyler said he has not been contacted by police about the case or seen the video.

    First, authorities must determine whether criminal wrongdoing, moral wrongdoing or a policy violation occurred.

    Possible charges include official oppression, injury to elderly, aggravated assault and assault, he said.

    Tyler said the incident was bad timing given the headlines dominating national news, but said Victoria isn't Ferguson, Mo., or New York.

    "You want to make sure you give the right kind of person a badge and a gun," he said.

    Larry Urich, a 62-year-old sales manager at the car lot, said watching the scuffle unfold made him sick. He said he wanted the officer fired and prosecuted for excessive use of force and causing bodily harm to an elderly person.

    "I told the officer, 'What in the hell are you doing?' This gentleman is 76 years old," Urich said. "The cop told me to stand back, but I didn't shut up. I told him he was a g-------- Nazi Stormtrooper."

    Urich followed behind the police car that drove Vasquez to the hospital and waited until his friend was released.

    "There should have been an ambulance called for this elderly gentleman," Urich said. "He should not have been handcuffed to go to the emergency room when he had not done anything wrong."

    Through it all, Urich said, he feels sorry for the officer.

    "He's probably a good family man, but you don't treat people like that," Urich said. "I don't see how in the world anyone would think he should keep his job after that."

    A day after the incident, Vasquez said he still had body aches and expected it would be a few days before he healed.

    "I feel like my rights were violated," he said. "The police department is supposed to train their police officers to be more conscientious and use common sense. I don't think he had any."

    Craig said he hired the officer "because he was a very good candidate," but he also felt obliged to talk to Vasquez in person to apologize for the incident.

    Vasquez said he appreciated the conversation with the chief.

    "He didn't want me to think that all policemen are like that," Vasquez said. "I said he's got a lot to do to prove to me that."
    From the video I don't see a single thing that is even questionable. The only thing missing is the officer's audio (it only plays the audio from inside the patrol unit). A senior citizen has no more right to try to strike an officer in the head than any other person. Defensive resistance alone would probably justify the use of force in this incident. But this man actually tried to STRIKE the officer. Plain as day and right dead center on camera.

    This just disturbs me because I've been forced to put people down much harder than this with much worse injuries.

  • #2
    The departments actions bothers me. What did they want him to do? Walk away? I really dont know how to feel about this profession anymore.

    On a side note, does the video appear to have been sped up?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Tmg View Post
      The departments actions bothers me. What did they want him to do? Walk away?
      I have no problem with use of force reviews, but for something so minor and when the video appears to be so clear, I don't understand why administrative suspension would be necessary.

      What I notice from the video is that the officer's actions seem very calm and measured. He doesn't jump or overreact when the driver gets out of the car. He doesn't appear to shout until the SHTF. At least during the part you can hear when he's close to the patrol unit, he gives very clear commands "Put your hands behind your back." For a 23 year old officer, he appears to handle this traffic stop as well as any veteran officer.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Tmg View Post
        On a side note, does the video appear to have been sped up?
        I didn't notice.

        Comment


        • #5
          Different country, different laws. A while back, a Canadian police officer was arrested for shooting a knife wielding man.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by chip4 View Post
            Different country, different laws. A while back, a Canadian police officer was arrested for shooting a knife wielding man.
            Uhh, this is Victoria, TX

            Comment


            • #7
              "He said he didn't want me to think that all police officers were like that," Vasquez said. "I said he's got a lot to do a lot to prove that to me."

              What? He was being combative! How is he convinced he was entirely innocent?
              Atlanta & Los Angeles

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              • #8
                Some audio would be nice.

                You guys in TX make physical arrests for expired plates?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cannady View Post
                  Uhh, this is Victoria, TX
                  I thought Texas was a different country.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by just joe View Post
                    Some audio would be nice.

                    You guys in TX make physical arrests for expired plates?

                    Glad I am not there--------------------I got renewal notices for my cars that are due in January.............I was missing one so I stopped in the courthouse today . It seems there was a computer glitch and while I paid for 2014 stickers, got 2014 stickers and registration papers for one car---------------it was never entered in the system so anyone that would have run my plates would have got a "not on file' return
                    Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Normally its a citation,Thats what i would have done but thats just me.

                      But yea if someone acts a *** basically anything gets you a ride if you deserve it other than simple speeding and open container.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The information I got (and it may be wrong) is that the stop was for the lack of an inspection sticker. The driver and officer apparently got into a urinating contest over whether an inspection sticker was required because the car had dealer plates.

                        Perhaps one of our Texas folks can chime in and clarify?
                        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Here's how I read this: as far as the license plate or temporary plate: there may be certain exemptions, expiration dates, special circumstances, maybe something was forgotten or not taken care of: there could be any of 50 different reasons like that for some irregularity with the plate. But none of those reasons have the power to nullify the officer's authority to investigate. Yet that is exactly what the 76-year-old believed: "the status of the plate is x,y,z, therefore, the cop has no authority here, therefore, he needs to mind his own business and get lost".
                          https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/TROP.jpg

                          List of Islamic terror attacks in the last 30 days

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Unless it was an in transit plate he needs an inspection.

                            A dealer plate needs one.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tmg View Post
                              Unless it was an in transit plate he needs an inspection.

                              A dealer plate needs one.
                              Exactly what I was thinking. I don't think I've ever found an exemption to the inspection other than in transit plates, contrary to the article and the chief in Victoria.

                              Comment

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