In this case, a city police officer was terminated for allegations of untruthfulness related to a use of force incident where he and fellow officers were required to use force to arrest a fleeing felon suspect. In the course of the altercation four different officers applied various levels of force to the suspect. One witness testified that the officer repeatedly kicked the suspect in the stomach and chest. The witness described numerous hard kicks with the tip of the officer’s boot. On the other hand, the officer stated he only kicked the suspect twice with moderate force and with the side of his shoe. After a lengthy investigation the department concluded that office was not truthful about the number, nature or type of kicks he applied to the suspect. The department based its decision on the numerous witness statements as well as the bruising and marks on the suspects body.
At a hearing the lawyers for G&A argued that the witnesses were mistaken and in the violence, confusion and chaos of the arrest no witnesses observation, perception or memory could really be trusted. Also, the marks on the suspects body could have been caused at numerous different times by any number of officers during the arrest. Nevertheless, the Arbitrator found while the officer kicks may have been justified and reasonable us of force he was never truthful about the number of kicks or the force of the kicks. The Arbitrator upheld the officer’s termination underscoring the risk and sensitivity of allegations of untruthfulness with peace officers.