Dallas police chief fires 6 officers: 'Some victims didn't get justice'

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on August 20, 2013 at 10:27 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 21 at 9:29 AM

DALLAS — Six Dallas Police Department officers were fired on Tuesday. Two of them failed to investigate hundreds of domestic violence cases.

A third officer was charged with negligent homicide after an internal affairs investigation revealed he lied about a chase that led to a suspect's death.

Yet another officer was arrested for sexual assault, and the sixth had felony warrants.

Chief David Brown said he hates having to do this, adding he is disappointed in the actions of the officers.

News 8 was the only news crew at Dallas police headquarters when the officers began arriving and were stripped of their guns, badges and jobs.

"Obviously not a great day for the department," the chief said.

Among those terminated was Detective Shawn Wash. As News 8 reported Monday, he failed to investigate more than 600 domestic violence cases.

On Tuesday, he refused to comment.

Another detective, Durman Johnson, was fired for failing to investigate 101 domestic violence cases. Many were never prosecuted because the statute of limitations ran out.

"So there are some victims that didn't get justice," Chief Brown said. "There's no skirting around that fact."

The officers were allowed to remain on the force during the year-long internal affairs investigation. One day after our story was broadcast, the chief called the termination hearings.

Brown fired four other employees, including Officer Bryan Burgess, who is accused of running over a suspect on a bike, moving the body, and then lying about it — saying the victim ran into his squad car.

Chief Brown said the only reason they found out the truth is because Burgess' partner recorded a conversation.

"This recording revealed that Officer Burgess made false statements regarding the case," the chief said.

Officer Burgess was arrested and charged with negligent homicide; his partner, Michael Puckett, was also fired.

Chief Brown said the internal investigation into the domestic violence detectives took longer because they were focusing on prosecuting the cases that could still be tired instead of focusing on the discipline of the officers.

Brown has also asked the FBI to conduct a civil rights violation investigation into officer Burgess' actions.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com

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