DALLAS — A Dallas police officer who was seen in a viral video punching a man in Deep Ellum over the summer has been terminated from the department, police confirm.
That officer, Melvin Williams, was fired by Dallas police Chief Eddie Garcia following an administrative hearing, according to the department. A criminal investigation into the officer's involvement in the incident is still ongoing.
Williams, a SWAT officer, had previously been under investigation in connection to his actions in the Deep Ellum incident and two other cases during which two separate people were shot with sponge rounds during the 2020 summer protests.
Williams was reportedly working off-duty at a bar in the 2900 block of Elm Street in July 2021 when he was captured on video punching a man at least five times while responding to a large fight in Deep Ellum.
Two other officers intervened to break up the fight.
Williams was placed on leave after the incident and an investigation was launched, but it was not the first time the officer had been investigated for use of force.
In one of the cases, 21-year-old Vincent Doyle was shot in the head with a sponge round, cutting him in the eye and leaving him with limited vision.
In the other case, Brandon Saenz had to have his eye removed after he was shot in the face with a 40 mm sponge round.
Attorney Daryl Washington is representing both Doyle and Saenz in a federal lawsuit.
"He's not someone who should be wearing a badge and have a gun in his possession,” Washington said of Williams.
Questions had been raised about why Williams was not on restricted duty while under investigation for those use of force cases.
"If they have that much anger and they can't de-escalate situations then they should not be a police officer,” Washington said.
Chief Garcia declined a request for comment on the termination.
Rebecca Lopez and Addie Haney contributed to this report.