Dallas Police Discipline Four Officers

Two officers terminated due to their actions

Dallas Police Chief David Brown disciplined four officers during hearings held Thursday morning, leading to two of the four being terminated from the department.

Officer Cortenay Howard was terminated from the department after filing an fraudulent insurance claim for hail damage to his personal car. Howard's claim was denied by insurance adjusters and sent to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, who sent that claim, plus two other claims from other insurance companies to the Dallas Police Department's Public Integrity Unit. Though the PIU found none of the claims warranted criminal prosecution, the unit forwarded the information about the investigation to the police Internal Affairs unit, which concluded Howard engaged in adverse conduct.

Sr. Cpl. Adam Conway was terminated for being involved in a motor vehicle crash in Rockwall while intoxicated. Conway refused to perform a field sobriety test, was arrested, and had a mandatory blood draw which lead to being charged with a DWI. Though the charges were dismissed in October, Dallas Internal Affairs unit investigated and concluded that Conway drove under the influence of alcohol.

In a follow-up to an investigation into the shooting of a mentally ill man, DPD suspended Officer Christopher Watson for 15 days for his actions. Watson's partner Cardan Spencer was terminated from the department after he shot 52-year-old Bobby Gerald Bennett after claimed the man threatened Spencer and Watson with a knife. However, video captured by a neighbor's surveillance camera showed that Bennett didn't move toward the officers until he crumpled to the ground from a gunshot. Due to Watson's actions of being untruthful on an affidavit and violating patrol bureau procedure, he was suspended for 15 days.

Sgt. Ramon Gonzalez was suspended for 30 days after investigators audited his time card and payroll entries to find around 189 missing hours of work between Jan. 2011 and July 2012. Additional investigation showed that Gonzalez was not charged for vacation leave, compensatory leave, sick leave, and attendance incentive leave between Jan. 2008 and June 2012. Based upon Gonzalez' pay rate during the time period, police said he owed the city over $19,450. According to police, the Dallas PIU was unable to pursue criminal charges.

All the disciplined officers have the right to appeal the decisions. At press time, none had made their plans to appeal known to NBC 5.

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