A Dallas police officer will not be returning to his job Thursday morning after a hearing Wednesday afternoon in which he was terminated for ignoring a woman's cry for help.
According to the Dallas Police Department, Senior Cpl. Leslie Richardson drove away from a woman pointing out the man who had just kidnapped her children at gunpoint on Aug. 25.
Richardson was on his way to a burglary in process that he had volunteered to help with when he got a call for a disturbance emergency of threats with a gun. According to the report, the dispatcher gave him descriptions of both the suspect's vehicle and the complainant's vehicle. The dispatcher also told him that shots were fired and the suspect was ramming the woman's vehicle.
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The officer was headed eastbound on Illinois Avenue and passed the suspect's vehicle parked in a grassy area. When pulling alongside the complainant, she said, "That's him, that's him, right there." Richardson responded, "Right here what, baby? I'm on a call," before driving away.
The report also says that Richardson continued to drive off after the dispatcher announced to all officers that the suspect was on Illinois and just grabbed the children.
According to the Dallas Police Department, Richardson drove to the scene of the burglary and left shortly after, but did not follow policy by clearing from the call to make himself available.
The Internal Affairs investigation concluded that Senior Cpl. Richardson placed the woman in greater danger than necessary when he made an inappropriate comment to a citizen and failed to take action. The investigation also stated that he failed to immediately clear the call and was using a tobacco product while driving a Dallas police vehicle.
Police said the suspect, Steven Douglas, was later fatally shot after pointing a gun at an officer. The children were not hurt.
Richardson was hired in August 1986 to the South Central Patrol Division. He has the right to appeal his termination under civil service rules.