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Police video raising questions about LPD driving procedures

Published: Aug. 17, 2015 at 10:39 PM CDT|Updated: Feb. 16, 2016 at 12:12 AM CST
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The video showing the arrest of 19-year-old Jose Escarcega is raising new questions about police procedure in Lubbock.

Escarcega is charged with aggravated assault after a crash that injured injured LPD corporal Ryan Durrett.

Escarcega is now being held at the Lubbock County Detention Center with an immigration hold placed on his file. According to his booking sheet, Escarcega is a citizen of Mexico.

Escarcega was arrested at the intersection of 19th and Iola. Video of that arrest raised questions about excessive force, and has now led to an investigation into how other officers responded to this scene.

Just before midnight on July 29, Lubbock police officers were traveling down Milwaukee Avenue, going more than 100 miles per hour and not using lights or sirens.

"In any case where there is an officer needs help or any lives are in danger, the response of the officer is key," Lieutenant Ray Mendoza said. "So, a lot of times, we are authorized to run code 3, which means lights and sirens, and exceed the speed limit."

So we asked Mendoza, a spokesman for the Lubbock Police Department, why lights were not on here.

Mendoza said he could not speak to the specifics surrounding the actions and tactics used by the responding officers in this specific case due to the ongoing internal investigation.

But, he says in general, "They need to use them," Mendoza said. "They need both the lights and the siren."

Mendoza said lights and siren would be needed day and night.

Mendoza says driving over 100 miles per hour without lights could pose a danger not only to officers, but any citizens that may be out and about during that time.

"We train officers to run with their lights and siren, any time they have to exceed the speed limit, that's how we train them," Mendoza said.

Mendoza did tell us that at this time, no officers have been put on leave.

RAW VIDEO: LPD Chief orders investigation into controversial Escarcega arrest

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