Sheriff's deputy in biker arrest video kicked suspect in unrelated incident

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by DAVID SCHECHTER

Bio | Email | Follow: @davidschechter

WFAA

Posted on July 12, 2012 at 7:22 PM

DALLAS - Last month, Dallas Sheriff's deputies chased a stolen semi-truck cab for 53 miles from Dallas to Denton.

When the chase ended, a group of eight deputies circled suspect Garrick Beck, who was resisting arrest. While Beck was down, but not fully under control, a deputy is seen kicking Beck twice.

Sources tell News 8 the deputy is James Westbrook, the same person currently under investigation for seizing a biker's helmet camera during a traffic stop on Memorial weekend, apparently without probable cause.

"Oh, looks like he's got him by the arm,” said former Dallas County Prosecutor Toby Shook, as he watched the most recent video of the semi-truck chase. "You generally don't have to start kicking them, unless they're a serious threat to you."

The Dallas County Sheriff's Office declined to comment about Westbrook’s actions, citing an ongoing internal affairs investigation stemming from the biker/camera arrest. However, it confirms Westbrook has been moved off the streets and now works in the courts.

News 8 has also learned Westbrook's conduct was also called into question in a 2006 lawsuit, when Westbrook was a county jailer. A prisoner, who claimed be subdued at the time, accused Westbrook of punching him twice and knocking him unconscious. Westbrook won the lawsuit.

Still, Shook said the county must be very careful to make sure a pattern does not develop.

"If a pattern is ignored, and another more major incident happens, then the county could face serious liability,” he said.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com

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