The Arlington Municipal Patrolman’s Association is calling for an investigation into how the Arlington Police Department disciplines its staff, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
Association president Chris CeBallos told the newspaper that officers and supervisors are disciplined unequally, and he asked the city council on Tuesday to launch an independent investigation into the department’s internal affairs division.
CeBallos pointed to a Dec. 9 arbitration ruling in which Judge Anne Ashby criticized the department’s internal affairs process, as she overruled the 2017 suspension of an officer, ruling that the officer should be paid for the 80 hours he had to sit out. The officer was accused of providing a “defective” police report, but an arbitration hearing found a supervisor never gave the officer the information he was accused of leaving out of the report.
“The ruling is blasting the way the investigation was handled and blasting the way that supervisors were overlooked that made obvious policy violations,” CeBallos told the Star-Telegram.
Arlington City Attorney Teris Solis told the newspaper that people are using this one judgment “as a basis for their effort to paint members of APD staff in a negative light.”
The officer’s attorney, Randall Moore, told the Star-Telegram the system in place is unfair to officers facing discipline.
“Arlington picks the arbitrators, they make the rules, you have the arbitration on their premises, they have everything in their favor,” Moore said. “And then they lose, and they want to take their toys and go home.”
CeBallos said that in November, Chief Will Johnson didn’t face discipline for using the n-word while recounting the details of a hate-crime investigation but that an officer received discipline for using the same racial slur in a similar context in June.