Forth Worth Police Officers Association head says police chief “got this one wrong” by dismissing a 22-year police veteran for using “unreasonable force.”
A 22-year Fort Worth police veteran was fired because he wrongfully arrested a woman and used “unreasonable force” to take her into custody. Sgt. Kenneth Pierce had instructed a rookie officer to use a Taser on Dorshay Morris, 29, during the incident outside her apartment, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald said Pierce became “impatient” and “initiated an unnecessary physical confrontation” with Morris. The specific charges against Pierce announced Tuesday were neglect of duty, failure to supervise and violating the department’s use-of-force policy.
Pierce’s attorney, Terry Daffron, and Rick Van Houten, president of the Fort Worth Police Officers Association, criticized the chief’s decision. Fitzgerald “got this one wrong,” Van Houten said, adding that the “facts of this case do not add up to a termination” for Pierce. Van Houten and Daffron released the 911 call that led to the arrest as well as a report filed by the Police Department’s use-of-force expert, who said Pierce’s behavior was “well within the … Use of Force policy and falls in line with what is commonly taught to both recruits and incumbents.” Morris told a dispatcher that her boyfriend was damaging her car and that she was going to stab him to “defend myself.” Pierce and the rookie officer received pm;u information that Morris was threatening to stab her boyfriend, Daffron said. The call details did not indicate the threats were being made out of self-defense.