Hurst officer who kneed teen placed on administrative leave

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by SHON GABLES & MARCUS MOORE

Bio | Email | Follow: @MarcusMoorewfaa

WFAA

Posted on November 25, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 27 at 5:57 PM

HURST -- There's public outcry for the suspension of a Hurst police officer Sunday as a video of an officer's aggressive tactics to subdue a 17- year-old makes the rounds on social media.

Cell phone video caught Officer Disraeli Arnold, badge No. 654, running to knee a teenager in the head after he was wrestled to the ground by another officer and appeared to be under control. 

The video shows Arnold admitting to kneeing the teen in the back of the head and swearing profusely while walking the young man to the patrol car. The teen was initially resisting arrest, but another officer held the suspect down and was directing him to roll over before Arnold sprinted into the frame.

The four-year veteran has been placed on administrative leave while the department investigates the incident, assistant chief Steve Niekamp said. Arnold works as a patrol officer.

Internal Affairs investigators released Arnold's work history Monday, which included five positive reviews, a letter of commendation for helping medics, several positive letters from citizens. It also includes a reprimand for being late to work, and one notation from a superior states that Arnold can be "overzealous" at times, which can lead to "clouded judgment."

The video, posted to YouTube (Warning: contains very graphic language), had more than 30,000 views as of 5 p.m. Monday. Niekamp said a dispatcher was partaking in a ridealong with the first officer who was calming the teen, Miguel Jiminez. The dispatcher called for backup. 

"When something like this happens, you can't help but be embarrassed," Niekamp said on Monday. "We have thousands of incidents and contacts every week and the majority of them are very professional and exactly what we expect." 

Kelly Pope, the mother of of the teen who was kneed in the head, said something has to be done. She understands why the first officer quietly calmed her son after his arrest, but she wants Arnold suspended.

Pope said Tuesday afternoon her son, Andrew, was hanging out in Bellaire Park when he and his 17-year-old friend were arrested. She believes her son was unfairly targeted.

"He wasn't saying anything the whole time this Officer Arnold was saying ugly, hateful things to him," Pope said. "Y'know, 'Move and you're gonna [expletive] die,' 'give me a reason to [expletive] you up and hurt you.'"

Pope admitted her son struggled with the officers, but calmed down after he was handcuffed. He was later charged with resisting arrest, although he did have a four-year-old failure to appear warrant from when he was in the eighth grade.

"I was mad, I was hurt," Pope said. "This is supposed to be somebody to protect the city and our children."

She plans to meet with Hurst's police chief Monday morning. Meanwhile, the city of Hurst released a statement that read, "This is not behavior it promotes or condones in any way. We strive to build a stronger, safer community through our work around the city and will continue to do so through appropriate action."

The city said the incident is being investigated internally. 

As for teens arrested, Kelly Pope's son spent three days in jail, and was released after posing a $200 bond for a resisting arrest charge. His friend, who shot the cell phone video, was arrested as well. He was charged with minor possession of tobacco and paraphernalia.

E-mail sgables@wfaa.com

 

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