Police Department Investigates Self, Says All is Fine
(TX) – The Schertz Police Department is giving us a perfect example of why police departments need civilian review boards. In a November 2 incident, three officers with the Schertz Police Department, chased a young Black man, Zekee Rayford, then beat and tased him. In addition, one of the officers threatened to do the same thing to family members who had come to the door to ask what was going on. After an outcry from the public, the Schertz Police Department conducted an internal investigation and decided the only wrong doing was a failure to be “kind, courteous and patient.”
Justifying Police Brutality
As we said in our previous article, Rayford did run. The officers did have the right to stop him. And I do have some corrections to make. It does sound as if the female officer is saying ‘put your hands behind your back’ after each knee strike and I’m not positive where the hits landed. In the original article I thought they were to the head. Now, I’m not so sure. What I am sure about is that the officers still handled this poorly and all the Schertz Police Department did was justify police brutality by their officers.
Officers are Supposed to De-Escalate Situations
If Schertz can’t see that their officers added to the problem then the whole police department is a mess and they deserve the coming lawsuit. Lets look at what really happened here. A young Black man doesn’t trust police officers and runs to his parents’ front door calling for help. The officers take him to the ground. The young man continues calling for his father. Rather than make any attempt to de-escalate the situation the officers resort to beating him and tasing him three times. At that point, it’s completely on the officers. They are the ones in control and they are the ones who decided to resort to police violence.
Yes It Was Intimidation
To make matters worse, when the parents come to the door, and are naturally upset, the male officer tells them “Yes, I did tase him. I did. You’re going to relax or you’re going to get it next. I promise you, you will.” Yet according to the Schertz Polide Department as stated in the KSAT article,
The officers, according to the department, did not show a violation of the use of force, nor did they break other rules on conduct, use of intimidation, treatment of people in custody or “responsibility to respect the rights of others.”
I would like to see where in Schertz’s policy and procedures it says that if family members are upset, it’s okay to tase them even if they are not making any threatening motions. That was the threat that was directed at Rayford’s parents. There are no two ways to look at it. It’s not a case of the officer failing to be “kind, courteous and patient,” it’s a case of the officer abusing his authority and using threats to intimidate.
Ignoring Officer Misconduct
While there were three officers involved in the abuse of Rayford (Officers Frank Chavarria, Megan Fennesy, and Danielle Apgar) and all three of them handled the situation poorly, Officer Chavarria is of particular concern. KSAT 12 has uncovered a troubling history, through multiple agencies, for Officer Chavarria. That history includes a suspension for a “botched arrest”, lying, unprofessional behavior, and decisions that showed poor judgment. Unfortunately, it’s very common for problem officers to jump from agency to agency. Sadly, too many agencies are willing to overlook all the red flags just like Schertz P.D. is did and is continuing to do.