Suspension orders document officers striking restrained suspect multiple times

Suspension orders document officers striking restrained suspect multiple times
LPD Chief Greg Stevens explained the suspensions on Monday
LPD Chief Greg Stevens explained the suspensions on Monday

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Two Lubbock Police officers are now being placed on unpaid leave for an incident caught on camera in July.

Just before Midnight on July 29, police arrested Jose Escarcega at 19th and Iola. Officer Ryan Durrett had stopped to help Escarcega, but learned he was in a stolen vehicle.

Investigators say Escarcega ran and jumped into Durrett's patrol unit. Durrett grabbed on, and Escarcega dragged him until crashing into a utility pole.

Responding officers were caught on dash cam video hitting Escarcega several times. Two officers were placed on paid leave in September.

Now, Chief Greg Stevens says those officers will each serve an unpaid suspension.

Officer Michael Jordan is suspended for 30 days. Officer Tye Edwards is suspended for 16 days.

Chief Stevens says both agreed to take a voluntary suspension, meaning neither can appeal.

Escarcega hit while hogtied

KCBD has received copies of the Voluntary Suspension Orders of Lubbock Police Department officers Michael Jordan and Tye Edwards in the matter concerning use of excessive force in the arrest of Juan Carlos Escarcega-Ysaias, following Escarcega's alleged assault of LPD Corporal Ryan Durrett.

Jordan, an LPD Sargent, has been suspended for 30 days. Edwards has been suspended for 16 days. Because the officers have signed voluntary suspensions, neither suspension may be appealed.

The suspension orders reveal that Jordan hit Escarcega three times in the head with an ASP baton and punched him twice while he was handcuffed and then hogtied him. Edwards punched him seven times after he was handcuffed...four of which where after he was hogtied.

The signed orders say these things happen when "the suspect was not actively resisting arrest or attempting to flee" and "at a specific point when the suspect did not pose and immediate threat."

It is against LPD policy to hogtie suspects.

The orders state that the officers' conduct brought "discredit" to themselves and the Lubbock Police Department. Jordan's order states that he "did not protect the rights of Mr. Escarcega-Ysaias and physically abused."

The orders further reveal that both officers violated policy by using excessive speeds, which in car camera show to be more than 100 mph, without lights and siren.

Officers said to be remorseful

In an exclusive interview with KCBD Lubbock Police Department Chief Greg Stevens said that both officers accepted responsibility for their mistakes and were "remorseful."

"They owned it," said Stevens.

"These suspensions are lengthy and they are costly," said Stevens.

"Both officers have served the city of Lubbock honorably, One for almost twenty years," Stevens added.

The officers were on paid administrative leave up until the time they began to serve their suspensions last Friday.

In his news conference today Stevens elaborated that a voluntary suspension is a negotiated disciplinary action and that is why there is no appeal. It is done with the full agreement of the officer.

In answer to a question about what will happen when the officers come back to work Stevens responded, "They'll come back to work and we'll press on down the road."

"Corporal Durrett is the real victim here"

LPD Corporal Ryan Durrett was seriously injured in the July 29 incident. In his news conference Monday Stevens was emphatic when he described Corporal Durrett as the "real victim" in the incident.

According to Chief Stevens, Durrett is now back at work on "light duty" but expected to return to full duty soon.

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