Updated On: Apr 06, 2018
We are sharing this information because knowledge is power and the more you know the better it may help you in the future should you find yourself in a similar saturation. Let’s first start with the Texas Penal Code 37.10 (a)(3) Tampering with a Governmental Records, which states a person commits an offense if he intentionally destroys, conceals, removes, or otherwise impairs the verity, legibility, or availability of a governmental records. We can tell you the original Use of Force form in this case was shredded, only a photo copy of the original Use of Force, signed by the initiating officer, Sgt. Hanks and Lt. Mike Moses exist.
According to Arlington Police Department General Orders 301.01 (F) Report Access Restrictions, states documents and reports created in the course of business for the Police Department are governmental Property subject to legal restrictions on access and release. If the department considers all documents and records as governmental property that would indicate they are governmental records.
Nowhere in APD General Orders, or Standard Operating Procedures, is there any policies or procedures for rough drafts, mock ups, outlines, summaries or sketches as it pertains to the preparation of documents during the course of business for the police department.
The officer involved in this case was charged with Unbecoming Conduct, Judgment and Non-Deadly Force Authorization, claiming he used unnecessary force, which of course would be a lot easier to sustain without a signed Use of Force form signed by his Sergeant and Lieutenant. The officer involved was cleared of the Unbecoming Conduct and the Non-Deadly Force Authorization allegations.
Attached below is the written statements of Sgt. Hanks, Lt. Mike Moses and Deputy Chief James Lowery and a photo copy of the actual Use of Force that was shredded. Also attached are the Oral Reprimands for Deputy Chief James Lowery and Lt. Mike Moses. The reprimands are not for the actual shredding of the Use of Force but for how they failed to ensure the UOF was submitted properly. You should notice that in Lt. Moses’ reprimand it states, “Upon receiving the corrections, you demonstrated a lack of judgment by not ensuring that the UOF report went back through the chain before disposing of the first draft.” Disposing is defined as, get rid of, throw away, DESTROY, discard, sell or gave away.
Some maybe wondering how a Lt. and a Deputy Chief can receive the same level of discipline. It would seem reasonable that perhaps a Deputy Chief should be held at a higher standard than that of a Lieutenant. That was the standard under past administrations.
We should also inform you, that this case and all the documents were sent to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office who sent it to the Department of Public Safety and declined to take the case based on the Texas Rangers investigation.