Hurst PD to Investigate Officer Threatening, Cursing at Teen in Video

Officer placed on leave during internal affairs investigation

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    Evaluations of the officer seen on a YouTube video threatening a teenager and kneeing him in the head during an arrest paint a picture of a hard-working officer who has done a good job of catching drunken drivers and helping crime victims.

    A Hurst police officer has been placed on administrative leave after an "embarrassing" arrest video was published on YouTube.

    Officer Disraeli Arnold, a four-year veteran of the department, was caught on camera Wednesday kneeing a teenager in the back of the head while cussing and threatening him.

    Kelly Pope said her family doesn't question the arrest of her son, 17-year-old Andrew Rodriguez, but plans to talk to the police department about how her son was arrested. She also said she wants Arnold to turn in his badge.

    "I would like that guy off the force, is what I'd like," she said.

    Mother Wants Hurst Police Officer's Badge

    [DFW] Mother Wants Hurst Police Officer's Badge
    The mother of 17-year-old seen in a YouTube video being kneed in the back and cursed at by a Hurst police officer says she wants the officer fired and charged with aggravated asault.

    After an hourlong meeting with the Hurst Police Department on Monday, Pope and a group of civil rights activists suggested that Arnold be charged with aggravated assault and attend anger management classes.

    "We've never seen this kind of aggressive behavior by a police officer against a member of our community," said Carlos Quintanilla, of Action America.

    Pope said she knows her son initially was wrong but said that Arnold's actions were excessive.

    "He [her son] knows that he handled it badly at first, that he should have been a little more cooperative," she said. "But, you know, the second officer -- there was no reason for it."

    A friend of Rodriguez uploaded video of the arrest to YouTube.

    "He (Arnold) comes up at a jolting sprint, kneed him in the back of the head and, as you can see on the video, he says, 'If you move I'm going to [expletive] kill you,'" Pope said.

    The teen and the officer verbally sparred back and forth while he was taken into custody.

    Afterward, Arnold paraded in front of the friend recording the arrest and said, "You got it on tape? Arnold, 654!"

    Hurst Police Assistant Chief Steve Niekamp said Monday that Arnold responded to a request for backup from Officer Jimenez.

    Niekamp said Rodriguez kept trying to walk away while Jimenez questioned him and eventually shoved the officer. Jimenez then took Rodriguez to the ground, he said.

    He said the video appears to show that Jimenez was struggling to get the situation under control.

    "There probably was a heightened sense of an officer in trouble," Niekamp said. "Rodriguez should have complied. He had plenty of opportunity before that to listen to the officer's commands."

    The department on Monday morning placed Arnold on administrative leave pending an ongoing internal affairs investigation. The department said the officer's actions, including kneeing the teen, swearing and parading in front of the camera are all major concerns.

    "This is not behavior that the city of Hurst or the Hurst Police Department promotes or condones," the department said.

    "You can't help but be embarrassed -- not only for the officers that work in our department, but for anybody in the law enforcement profession," Niekamp said. "You just expect when an officer shows up, they're going to be in charge. You don't want the foul language, anything that looks like it might be overreaction. You just want to be professional, calm and in control of the scene."

    According to a performance assessment and disciplinary file released by Hurst police Monday, Arnold has met or exceeded police standards in nearly every assessment in four years. The department considers qualities such as professionalism, respect and teamwork.

    However, on an otherwise good performance assessment, the document noted that in May 2010, "Officer Arnold's enthusiasm may make him overzealous at times, which can cloud his judgment when it comes to policy, procedure and tactics. Sometimes he needs to step back and see the big picture and risks involved."

    Hurst police have also confirmed that they are investigating a second complaint against Arnold that was filed by a driver this summer.

    Pope said that she is satisfied with the way the police department has handled the situation up to this point. An internal investigation will move forward once Pope files an official complaint, which she said she expects to do Tuesday.

    NBC 5's Kendra Lyn, Mark Schnyder, Mola Lenghi and Scott Gordon contributed to this report.