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Dallas police chief fires 2 sergeants, suspends 1 in discipline hearings

Police Chief Eddie Garcia issued the discipline decisions in hearings Tuesday afternoon.

DALLAS — Two Dallas police officers have been fired and one was suspended in separate discipline hearings announced late Tuesday night, officials said.

Sgt. James Bristo and Sgt. Carlos Valarezo were fired, and Sgt. Kung Seng was suspended for three days.

Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia issued the discipline decisions in hearings on Tuesday afternoon.

“Seems that we have a police chief that has no problem ‘weeding out’ bad officers or officers that have done things and so I applaud Chief Garcia and this move that he's taken,” City of Dallas Police Monitor Tonya McClary said. “But it does bring me concern about (the fact that) all three of these were in leadership. They were sergeants.” 

McClary is Dallas’ first ever police monitor. Part of her job includes taking complaints from residents, who she says have been calling since the news broke about the three disciplined sergeants.

“I am going to start going back and see if we had any complaints where those three sergeants were involved,” McClary said.

According to court documents, Bristo allegedly put a hospitalized man in a chokehold last year.  

Police officials said Bristo "used unnecessary and/or inappropriate force against a citizen," failed to complete a "Response to Resistance Report" after using force, and then "engaged in adverse conduct" when he was arrested on a charge of official oppression. 

Valarezo was fired for violating the city code against "making offensive and unwelcome jokes or comments, demeaning language or gestures, or other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct that interferes with another employee's working conditions," officials said.

The attorney for Valarezo told WFAA Wednesday that she will be filing paperwork this week to appeal his termination. 

Seng was suspended for giving false testimony in a court proceeding, officials said.

“Several people have called our office concerned, about wait a minute, an officer testified falsely in court and they only got three days?” McClary said. 

She told WFAA she is hoping get more details soon from Chief Garcia about “what actually happened with Sgt. Seng and understand the reason why there was a suspension versus a termination.”

All of the officers are allowed to appeal discipline decisions, according to city civil service rules. 

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