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Police Misconduct Archives - Page 2 of 2 - The Law Office of WT Johnson Blog

Texas Officer Resigned After Hitting Pedestrians

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on December 27, 2012

Recently, a north Texas police officer chose to resign after she was involved in a pedestrian accident. Corporal Jennifer Chavez was driving out of the parking lot in front of police headquarters in Colleyville when she hit two pedestrians.

She had stopped at the stop sign, but then pushed the gas and hit the couple who were crossing the street. Iryna and Oleh Krutko were on an evening walk when the accident occurred. A dashcam from another officer’s car shows Chavez trying to help Iryna who was on the ground.

The couple’s attorney stated that the officer was not going to an emergency call, but she was most likely distracted from looking at her cruiser’s computer screen. In a written statement Chavez said she was going 10 to 15 m.p.h. when she was making her left turn. She tried to hit the brakes, but couldn’t stop in time.

The pedestrians who were hit are still recovering from their injuries and are seeking compensation for their medical bills. They want the police department to reanalyze their policies concerning distraction caused by police cruiser computers.

The Fort Worth Police Department is one city that has changed its policy, which now states, “Officers shall not type on the MDC (mobile data computer) when the vehicle is in motion unless an exigent circumstance exists requiring immediate action.”‬

Pedestrian accidents are common, but shouldn’t be. If you were the victim of a Texas pedestrian accident, you should contact the Law Office of W.T. Johnson today. We will help you get the justice you deserve.

Dallas Police Officer Charged with Hit and Run and DWI

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on July 19, 2012

A Dallas police officer who should have been preventing crime has been accused of causing it. Officer Erica Montanez, 25, is now on administrative leave after she was accused of DWI, hitting a car and attempting an escape.

She was in the left turn only lane of the service road of Central expressway at Mockingbird Lane, but instead of turning she went straight. Then her vehicle hit a black Mercedes and Montanez kept going, and weaving in and out of traffic to try to get away.

Yet the traffic prevented her from going too far, and the man she hit followed her as she took the Knox/Henderson exit to a gas station. He called the police who arrested her.

Officer Erica Montanez is a two-year-veteran assigned to the Southeast Patrol Division. Traffic reports state that she admitted to the officers that arrested her that she had had three cosmopolitans at a NorthPark Center restaurant before the accident later that evening. She was arrested for leaving the scene and DWI.

If you have been the victim of an accident caused by a hit-and-run or DWI, you have the right to contact the Law Office of W.T. Johnson today. We will get you the justice you deserve and peace of mind.


Posted in: Police Misconduct

Heat Kills Dallas Inmate, Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on July 12, 2012

Last summer, 58-year-old Larry McCollum, a Dallas-area prison inmate, died of a heat stroke after living in a prison cell with no air-conditioning. The Texas Civil Rights Project recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit on his behalf.

They hope the lawsuit will help change the conditions of confinement so those who are vulnerable to heat will not suffer, like the elderly and those with medical conditions.

Jim Harrington, the Texas Civil Rights Project executive director, said nine inmates died of heat stroke or heat-related causes last summer. Of 111 Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison units, only 21 are fully air-conditioned. The others are partially-air-conditioned in the medical or education areas, but not in the living areas.

When McCollum arrived at the prison, officers greeted him by saying, “Welcome to hell.” McCollum had been convicted of forgery and had only been in the state prison for three days before he collapsed. The autopsy stated his death resulted from living in a hot environment.

The temperature inside the facility would rise to about 96 degrees. McCollum’s body temperature was above 109 degrees when he arrived to the hospital. They had distributed water to the inmates, but allegedly, since McCollum had not received his ID card, he could not buy a cup to drink water, or a fan.

When your loved one dies, it is a heart-wrenching, overwhelming time. But if they have died because of the negligence of another, this makes the death even more painful. If your loved one suffered a wrongful death, you should contact the Law Office of W.T. Johnson today to get the justice you deserve before it’s too late.

Posted in: Police Misconduct

Cisco the Dog Killed by Austin Police Officer

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on April 19, 2012

A Texas man states that his dog, a blue healer named Cisco, was shot point blank and killed by an Austin police officer. The officer was responding to a 911 call about a domestic issue, but was given the wrong address.

Michael Paxton was playing Frisbee with his Australian cattle dog on Saturday afternoon, and went to get something from his truck in the driveway. As he approached his truck, the policeman walked up and drew his weapon. Paxton was frightened and then heard his 50-pound dog barking and coming from the backyard.

The dashcam shows Officer Thomas Griffin shouting, “Show me your hands!” to Paxton. Then Cisco barked. Officer Griffin said, “Get your dog!” and immediately a shot rings out, and Paxton urgently asked the officer why he shot his dog.

But Sgt. David Daniels of the Austin Police Department said the dog approached the officer aggressively, so Griffin shot Cisco to protect himself.

Paxton’s supporters state that since the officer asked Paxton to put his hands up, it was impossible for him to get his dog. Paxton also says his dog never tried to attack the officer, but that Cisco just ran up to Officer Griffin and challenged him.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo apologized to Paxton on an Austin local radio show, which Paxton said meant a lot to him. A Facebook page called “Justice for Cisco” has begun to spread awareness and get support for police officers being trained in how to handle animals in those kinds of situations.

W.T. Johnson is here to help you with any personal injury case in which you feel another party has hurt you through negligence. Contact us today to get justice you deserve for your situation.

Posted in: Police Misconduct

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