Report: Suspended Hurst officer felt profane language was 'helpful' during arrest

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by JOSH DAVIS

WFAA

Posted on January 7, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 7 at 7:37 PM

HURST -- On Monday, the Hurst Police Department released the letter of suspension sent to Officer Disraeli Arnold for his role in a controversial arrest last November.

Arnold was suspended indefinitely on Jan. 3 for language he used while detaining a suspect, 17-year-old Andrew Rodriguez. Arnold has until Jan. 13 to file a written appeal with the director of the Civil Service Commission.

Rodriguez filed a formal complaint with the department alleging unreasonable force and improper language during the arrest. A second detained suspect, Jordan Rojas, shot video of a portion of the incident and posted it on YouTube.

In the video, the first responding officer, Miguel Jimenez, detains the two subjects and gets into a physical altercation with Rodriguez. Officer Jimenez takes the teen to the ground, where Rodriguez appears to calm down before Officer Arnold runs into the frame. Arnold brought his knee down on Rodriguez, then yelled multiple profanities at the involved suspects.

Hurst Police Chief Steve Moore wrote that Arnold had reason to fear for Officer Jimenez' safety, and the video evidence "tends to show [Officer Arnold's] knee came down on Rodriguez' back and shoulder, rather than his head [as Rodriguez claimed.]" The chief wrote the "fluid nature of a physical confrontation often prevents officers from getting in a 'textbook' position" and "nothing in this incident indicates [Arnold] used unreasonable force."

However, the letter lists off the multiple profanities said by Arnold in the YouTube video, and the chief wrote "no profanity from the suspect(s) was detected prior to [Arnold's] arrival" and "no improvement in the attitude or compliance of any of the suspects occurred when [Arnold] used profanity towards [the suspects.]"

The letter states the profanity used by Rodriguez was "in response to the yelled, repeated profanity" from Arnold.

"Your language with Rodriguez was not consistent with Hurst Police Department policy or training," Chief Moore wrote in the letter. "It was not effective in de-escalating the incident and it caused the involved suspects to become angrier. Your language was discourteous, indecent, profane -- and fits every descriptor in the allegation."

The letter of suspension then includes two examples of public outcry the department received as a result of the incident.

"I am deeply concerned by a written comment you included in your response to Lt. Pell during the Internal Affairs investigation," Chief Moore wrote to Arnold. "You stated 'Regarding my use of strong language during this incident, although I believe it was helpful in the circumstance, in the future, I will stay away from the use of profanity unless I feel it is absolutely necessary.'"

The chief said he doesn't believe the use of profanity and threats "were necessary during this or any incident" and he is "concerned [Arnold] will repeat this behavior again."

Chief Moore concludes Arnold brought a discredit to the police service, a violation of the department's code of conduct, which was the reason for the indefinite suspension.

Arnold is no longer receiving a pay check from the department and no longer has his badge or service weapon, pending a possible appeal.

Rodriguez was scheduled to make plea in court Monday, and was hoping the resisting arrest charge against him from the incident will be dropped.

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