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Brownsville Police Department Releases 2021 Police Officer Disciplinary Actions

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Brownsville Police Department Releases 2021 Police Officer Disciplinary Actions

We recently requested the 2021 disciplinary actions from the Brownsville Police Department. It turns out they had eight (8) releasable disciplinary actions.

A civil service department can only release disciplinary actions for its covered workforce if the action would be considered a suspension or higher action.

Brownsville Police Agent Procured Arrest Warrant for the Wrong Person

Agent Jose Miguel Rojas and Agent William Jackson were both suspended one day for obtaining an arrest warrant for the wrong person.

On Sunday, May 30, 2021, Officer Horacio Gonzalez filed Brownsville Police Department report number 21053757, an Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle reported by Ms. Carol S. McKinney. As a result, Agent Jose Miguel Rojas was assigned to investigate the complaint for possible criminal charges.

In the process of his investigation, he identified a possible suspect as Angel Perez, who was likely involved in a separate auto theft investigation. That being the case, he discussed the case with Agent William Jackson and they were able to obtain a photograph of Angel Perez.

On June 7, 2021, Agent Rojas and Agent Jackson met with Ms. McKinney, where she advised that she wanted to file criminal charges against Angel Perez for taking her vehicle without her consent. During their meeting with Ms. McKinney, Agent Rojas failed to properly identify the suspect by not presenting her with a picture or photo line-up of the suspect for an accurate identification.

On June 22, 2021, without a valid suspect identification, Agent Rojas filed a criminal complaint against Angel Perez with the Brownsville Municipal Court. Agent Rojas relied on unsupported information he and Agent Jackson had obtained of the suspect from interviewing Ms. McKinney and reviewing prior reports. As a result of his sworn complaint, an arrest warrant was issued for Angel Perez with date of birth of [omitted]. In reviewing the complaint and the warrant, it was discovered that Agent Rojas used the wrong date of birth for Mr. Perez. The correct date of birth should have been [omitted]

On August 12, 2021, Officer George Lopez and Officer Carlos Castillo responded to the Nafta Parkway by Love’s in reference to the wanted subject. While at location, the officers were able to locate and arrest Angel Perez on the strength of the warrant obtained by Agent Rojas. Mr. Perez was transported to the Brownsville City Jail where he was booked.

On the morning of August 12, 2021, Agent William Jackson was informed that Angel Perez had been arrested. Agent Jackson proceeded to the city jail in an attempt to interview Mr. Perez. While at the city. jail, Agent Jackson was informed that the person in custody was not the same Angel Perez involved with the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle complaint filed by Ms. McKinney. In learning that information, a personal recognizance bond was obtained for the release of Mr.Perez.

City of Brownsville Open Records Request, December 17, 2022

Brownsville Police Officer Failed to Charge a Suspect with the Proper Offense Code

Officer Herbie Eckersley was suspended for one day because he failed to charge a suspect with the right classification of assault.

On Tuesday, September 7, 2021 at approximately 8:14 a.m., Officer Eckersley was dispatched to a call for service at 3214 E. 25th St. in Brownsville, Texas. The call for service was in reference to a domestic disturbance between a husband and wife.

In an effort to protect the identity of the victim/wife of a family violence incident, she will be referred as “RE” for the remainder of this letter.

Upon his arrival at the location, Officer Eckersley made contact and proceeded to interview RE and her husband/suspect. Officer Eckersley learned from RE that she had just been assaulted by her husband, after a verbal argument between both. RE mentioned to Officer Eckersley that her husband had grabbed her by both arms and proceeded to forcefully shake and scream at her. The forcible contact on RE by the husband resulted in RE’s arms becoming bruised. Officer Eckersley noted on his offense report that he did notice “recent bruising on the upper inside of her (RE’s) arms”.

Officer Eckersley then interviewed RE’s husband who admitted to being so upset at RE, that he proceeded to physically push her.

While at the scene, Officer Eckersley failed to properly investigate and document RE’ s injuries with his department’s issued body worn camera or cell phone for evidence.

With the information gathered by Officer Eckersley from both RE and her husband/suspect, Officer Eckersley decided that RE’s husband would be placed under arrest. Officer Eckersley proceeded to arrest RE’s husband for the offense of Assault -Class C Misdemeanor. The suspect was transported to the Brownsville City Jail where he was booked and jailed, to await arraignment.

Officer Eckersley failed to charge and book the suspect with the correct offense and classification. Due to the actual contact/assault and visible bruising caused to RE’s arms, the suspect should have been charged with Assault (Family Violence) – Class A Misdemeanor, instead of a Class C Misdemeanor.

The incorrect classification for the Assault charge was later discovered by fellow Brownsville Police Officers. Officer Eckersley was also confronted by Sgt. Juan Hernandez who inquired about the classification which Officer Eckersley had decided on. Sgt. Hernandez verified that Officer Eckersley did in fact know the difference between both classifications but gave different reasons as to what he had initially filed the incorrect classification as a Class C Misdemeanor. After meeting with Officer Eckersley, Sgt. Hernandez instructed him to correct all paperwork and change it to the correct classification on the suspect’s booking paperwork.

City of Brownsville Open Records Request, December 17, 2022

Brownsville Police Officer Disciplined for Improper Handling of an Emergency Room Matter

Officer Manuel Morones was suspended for one hundred and twenty (120) hours because he failed to properly assess and react the the threat posed him

On Thursday, September 23, 2021, Officer Morones worked off-duty security at Valley Regional Medical Center located at 100 E. Alton Gloor Blvd. in Brownsville, Texas. While performing his security duties within the hospital, he was summoned to the front of the ER Triage area, in reference to an intoxicated subject.

Once there, Officer Morones contacted a male subject, later identified as Humberto Mendoza III. Mr. Mendoza III appeared upset, as he yelled at hospital staff, wanting to go inside and see his wife, who was being evaluated in the Emergency Room area.

In Officer Morones’ own IDC (Inter-Departmental Communications form), he described Mr. Mendoza III as “highly intoxicated on alcohol or an unknown narcotic.”

Mr. Mendoza III took out a small pocketknife and placed it up to his own throat. As this took place, Officer Morones used his flashlight, in order to get the attention of Brownsville Police Officer Carlos Borrego, who was also inside the hospital. Officer Borrego was there keeping watch on a different detained subject who was being treated.

Officer Borrego began to walk towards Officer Morones and as he did, Mr. Mendoza III began to walk towards Officer Borrego, while still holding the pocketknife up to his own neck. Officer Borrego identified Mr. Mendoza III as an immediate threat and proceeded to deploy and use his department issued Conducted Energy Device (CED). Officer Borrego discharged his CED at Mr. Mendoza III, which both taser prongs contacted him, causing Mr. Mendoza III to suffer neuromuscular incapacitation, and thus stopping the immediate threat.

Officer Morones failed to identify and address the immediate threat. During this same incident, Officer Morones did not have his issued bodycam, which was essential in the documentation of this incident.

City of Brownsville Open Records Request, December 17, 2022

Brownsville Police Agent Disciplined for Losing City Property

Agent Cesar Encinia was suspended for one day because he lost critical access cards of the Brownsville Police Department.

Brownsville Police Officer Disciplined for Vehicle Handling

On July 29, 2021 at approximately 5:20 p.m. (Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time), Agent Encinia misplaced or lost his personal wallet which contained his Brownsville Police Department credentials, Brownsville Police issued badge, Brownsville Police building access card, and his Homeland Security Investigations PIV access card. This incident took place in the Waialua District, County of Honolulu, Hawaii.

City of Brownsville Open Records Request, December 17, 2022

Officer Carlos Castillo was suspended for one day for driving into a flooded area and damaging his patrol unit.

On Friday, July 9, 2021 at approximately 5:15 a.m., Officer Castillo was on duty and operating unit 255 during his patrol operations. After leaving the police station, he traveled Eastbound on the 900 block of East 7th Street. Once on the comer of East 7th St. and Tyler St. he proceeded to drive into a flooded area. As a result of driving his assigned unit through the flooded street, the unit stalled and became inoperable.

Once the unit was stalled, Officer Castillo notified his immediate supervisor, Sergeant Emanuel Hernandez. Sergeant Hernandez ordered Officer Castillo to have the unit towed. Brownsville Towing arrived at the location and towed the unit to Centerra Integrated Fleet Services for evaluation and repairs.

Centerra Integrated Fleet Services diagnosed the unit and later advised that the unit’s engine had to be replaced due to the engine still making a knocking sound. The remedy was to replace the damaged engine and accessories at an estimated total cost of $6,874.00.

City of Brownsville Open Records Request, December 17, 2022

Officer Vanessa Gonzalez was issued a two day suspension and a citation for her involvement in a vehicle accident:

On Thursday, February 4, 2021 at approximately 9:36 a.m., Officer Vanessa Gonzalez was driving her assigned police unit, Delta 322, and was responding to a call for service at the “Xoom” gas station located at 745 W. Elizabeth St. in Brownsville, Texas.

As Officer Gonzalez drove Eastbound on the 700 blk. of W. Elizabeth St., she attempted to tum into a business parking lot at “La Michoacana Meat Market” by attempting an unsafe left tum from the wrong lane (right lane). Her unit struck acitizen’s vehicle, a black in color Chevy Cobalt with [omitted] plates [omitted] which was traveling on the left lane, next to her.

Officer Gonzalez’s assigned unit, Delta 322 left front quarter panel struck the citizen vehicle’s right front quarter panel resulting in damages to both vehicles.

Before the arrival of any supervisor or traffic investigator, Officer Gonzalez made the decision to move the citizen’s vehicle and her assigned unit off the roadway.

Sergeant Luis Nino and Officer Martin Sandoval arrived at the location to investigate the accident. Upon completing his investigation, it was determined that Officer Gonzalez was found to be at fault for the crash. Officer Sandoval issued Officer Gonzalez a citation #1547394 for “Turning From Wrong Lane”.

City of Brownsville Open Records Request, December 17, 2022

Brownsville Police Officer Separated from Employment for Failing to Meet Probation Standards

Officer Michael Anthony Barrios failed to meet the standards of employment during probation:

You have not met the required standards for continued employment as a Probationary Patrolman. Therefore, I am terminating your employment as a Probationary Patrolman with the Brownsville Police Department effective July 8, 2021.

City of Brownsville Open Records Request, December 17, 2022

A Couple of Our Other Reads

You may be interested in learning about a defense counsels claims that a South Texas Ranger may have perjured himself in courtroom testimony.

Or you may be interested in learning about a prior South Texas TCOLE Instructors arrest related to his alleged conduct in that role.

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