FORT WORTH — Fort Worth police Chief Jeffrey Halstead has fired an officer for using excessive force during an apprehension last spring.
Investigators said officers were in pursuit of a woman who was wanted for felony warrants on March 14. A video taken by the police helicopter shows Jennifer Muniz surrendering with her arms raised after stopping in the 800 block of West Berry Street.
But when it ended, Officer W.A. Featherston — who had not been involved in the chase — went to the scene without authorization.
"As Ms. Muniz reached the area where Officer Featherston and other officers were standing, Officer Featherston walked up to Ms. Muniz, grabbed her left arm and placed his leg in front of her legs ... intentionally tripping her, and taking her face down to the ground while still controlling her arm," according to a police account of the arrest.
Muniz suffered a bruised and bloody nose and broken teeth.
Featherston, 29, was fired on Wednesday. The report concluded that he had "failed to conduct himself in a professional manner" and also showed "blatant disregard for the policies and procedures of the Fort Worth Police Department."
Featherston had been with the department for almost two years.
"We have the greatest police officers in the country," said Chief Halstead in a written statement. "However, as I’ve said many times before, if any employee engages in physically abusive conduct towards our citizens, we will find them and I will fire them."