A Fort Worth, Texas, police sergeant has been fired after an investigation into his use of force in the apprehension of a black woman that proved to be “absolutely unacceptable,” the Fort Worth Police Department announced Monday.
Now-former Police Sgt. Kenneth Pierce was terminated for violating the department’s code of conduct, ABC News reports.
According to the report, the incident started when a woman called the Police Department for help (funny how that works) during a domestic disturbance back in August. What bodycam footage revealed was that far from getting help, the woman was still harassed by cops who attempted to intimidate her before ultimately tasing her.
Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald acknowledged that Pierce became “impatient, initiated an unnecessary physical confrontation and then ordered a rookie police officer to Tase the woman.”
Pierce and the unidentified rookie confronted a couple at the residence before asking them to turn around and face a wall. The woman refused, saying that her baby was inside. The man, identified by ABC as the woman’s boyfriend, insisted, “Y’all going for the wrong people.”
When the rookie officer askedif the two got into an argument, the man said no.
That was when officers asked the woman to get her ID out of her purse, which the woman did, but refused to hand it over to officers. Pierce demanded that the woman hand over her ID, threatening to arrest her, even as the woman refused.
That’s when the rookie cop grabbed the woman and attempted to handcuff her.
“Let my hand go! Let my hand go!” the woman could be heard protesting. As Pierce went over and attempted to restrain the woman, he ordered the rookie officer to “tase her.”
The woman dropped to the ground screaming as she was hit with the jolts of electricity.
“I’m confident that everyone who sees this video, including members of this department, will agree this supervisor’s response and subsequent behaviors are absolutely unacceptable,” Fitzgerald said of the incident.
“We are built on a foundation of being problem solvers,” the police chief added. “Pierce responded in an opposite manner and he escalated the situation, endangering everyone involved, including his fellow officers.”
Of course, an attorney for the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas said that the video, which is 12 minutes long, doesn’t show the whole picture.
“They are making claims that Pierce escalated the situation, and I don’t see it that way,” Terry Daffron, who will represent Pierce in his appeal, told the Star-Telegram. “I see that she was completely noncompliant with everything she was asked to do. He came in and was trying to help the rookie officer gain control to try to get her to comply.”