Arbitration continues for Lubbock police officer - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Arbitration continues for Lubbock police officer

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On Thursday, all the testimony wrapped up for a former Lubbock police officer who wants his job back along with back pay.

Former officer Chris Hennsley was fired in 2010 after LPD says he used excessive force during a traffic stop.

On Wednesday Lubbock police revealed that administration was concerned with his pattern of behavior. On Thursday Hennsley took the stand to testify in his own defense.

Hennsley admitted that he used bad tactics in some situations that took place the night of the traffic stop, but claimed his indefinite suspension was retaliation by former Chief Dale Holton.

Hennsley defended several unrelated write-ups and an unrelated three day suspension for excessive force.

"I feel that it was retaliation because I filed a grievance," Hennsley stated.

The City attorneys say Hennsley had several poor tactics the night of the incident: 

  1. Telling the occupants of the car to, "get out of the car," but never directing that command to a specific individual – i.e. The driver or passengers.
  2. Breaking the backseat window.
  3. Carrying a taser gun, pistol, and baton in hand all at one time when approaching the driver.
  4. Kicking the driver in the abdomen without giving him reasonable time to get on the ground.
  5. Making an incorrect call out: "he tried to ram me."
  6. Breaking cover without notifying the other officer.
  7. Tasing a passenger three times. 

The third time the passenger was tased, Hennsley also accidentally tased the other responding officer.

Officer Edward Day responded to the scene at the same time as Hennsley and testified Thursday as well.

Day is also seen on the video kicking, what Day called, an "aggressive" passenger. All other officers that responded to the scene including Day were exonerated from any wrong doing during this incident. 

Jerry Staton,  a training director and former Austin Police Detective testified on Hennsley's behalf and stated, "in my findings I have concluded that for the most part what Hennsley did in this case was understandable and that he was held to an unrealistic expectation."

He also testified that Hennsley, "had no justification for using a kick on the passenger." "He was not a threat and he was not going to resist," Staton said.

The arbitrator has 30 days from October 1st to make a decision.

©2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved.

 

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