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Dallas police officer fired after bodycam shows him use 'excessive force' on chase suspect

The officer had only been on the force for about two years and had no other internal affairs complaints.

DALLAS — *Warning: Some of the language and video in this story could be considered graphic.*

On Jan. 2, 2022, Dallas Police said Officer Barron Cooper was chasing a truck that was speeding, at times going more than 100 miles per hour.

The officer’s body camera footage captured the whole thing.

In the video, you see the end of the chase and Officer Cooper jumps out of his squad car with his gun drawn and runs up to the truck.

You see him tap on the window with his gun and yell at the person inside.

“Unlock It! Unlock the [expletive]," shouted the officer.

 You hear the suspect, who police said was 17 years old.

“It’s unlocked, sir. It’s unlocked," the teen said. 

The officer commands him at gunpoint to get out of the truck.

“Get on the [expletive] ground,” said Cooper.

As the teen is getting on the ground, the video shows Cooper putting the gun to his head.

“Put your hands behind your [expletive], yes sir. Do it or you are going to die,” shouted Cooper.

The teen yelled in response, “Yes sir, yes sir. I don’t want to die.”

Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia said the moment he saw this video he was appalled and fired Cooper after an internal affairs investigation.

“It did not meet the standards I believe for this department. I was shocked by it and we have to hold ourselves accountable,” said Garcia.

Garcia said along with the excessive force, the officer didn’t report he was in a pursuit and violated the department’s chase policy, which only allows officers to chase people wanted for a violent crime.

Dallas Police said they found the video only after doing an audit of their body-worn cameras and a supervisor saw the video and reported it to internal affairs.

“These reviews of these audits are extremely important obviously there are things that occurred throughout the investigation that led to the fact that really that this had to do with review of body cam that wasn’t generally connected to the incident itself,” said Garcia.

When supervisors took a closer look they also noticed the officer had crashed his squad car into the back of the suspect’s truck causing damage but moved his squad car before other officers arrived.  

You can hear Cooper telling another officer the damage happened as a result of the teen’s actions.

“That [expletive] came off while I was behind him. It was perfectly fine before then. The lights and all that [expletive] because of what he was doing.” 

“Sometimes our officers make mistakes. They make mistakes of the mind and heart. I felt this mistake was very egregious it does not represent the men and women that work and sacrifice for this department and ultimately when actions like this happen, I have a responsibility to the men and women of this department that do not act that way and have to be responsible to our community,” said Garcia.

DPD said Cooper had only been on the force for about two years and had no other internal affairs complaints. But, Garcia said what the officer did could not be tolerated, so he fired him three weeks ago.

“We do discipline in this department for two reasons to correct behavior and to set a standard for the organization.  We have to set a standard for the organization and have to continue to stay true to that,” said Garcia.

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