One Fired; Chief Seeks Charges in Taped Beating

Three Dallas officers may face charges in connection with assault

Warning: The dash cam video above contains explicit language.

One Dallas police officer has been fired and three may face felony charges in the taped beating of a chase suspect.

Officer Kevin Randolph was fired Wednesday in connection with the excessive force investigation. He, along with Officer Paul Bauer, may face misdemeanor assault and official oppression charges, as well as felony charges of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence in connection with the Sept. 5 beating of Andrew Collins.

Officer Henry Walter Duetsch may also face a felony charge for tampering with evidence. He returned to a squad car and turned the dashboard camera away from the assault, said Dallas Police Chief David Brown.

Brown said Wednesday he is recommending the charges to the Dallas County district attorney.

The officers pursued Collins for allegedly riding his motorcycle on a South Dallas sidewalk at about 9:15 p.m. After he was stopped in the 4900 block of South Lamar Street, officers beat him with a police baton and fists while he was on the ground. It is not clear from the video if Collins voluntarily pulled over or was bumped by the squad car.

Randolph hit Collins repeatedly with his baton and his partner, Bauer, struck Collins with his fist, police said. Off camera, Collins can be heard begging for mercy.

Collins had visible bruises on his thigh and blood-clotting, police said.

Video from a second car arriving after Collins was handcuffed recorded the scene for several minutes. Then an officer can be seen walking toward the car, whistling. The camera then moves so Collins and the officers are no longer visible.

The next day, an anonymous tip left on the desk of a Dallas police sergeant asked the officer to pull video of the chase and crash. On Sept. 8, Brown viewed the video and called in the FBI to investigate possible civil rights violations.

By Monday, police had interviewed 30 people about Collins' arrest, including all of the 22 officers who responded. None of the officers were supervisors.

Brown asked for calm and trust in the police department from Dallas residents when they see the video, which was released after his news conference Wednesday.

"Every citizen deserves a measure of respect," he said. "As chief of police for the city of Dallas, I expect citizens to hold me accountable for insuring that Dallas officers treat all citizens with fairness and compassion. No one is above the law of this great country. I am appealing to the calmer voices of the community and the police department to examine the evidence in this case and the department's investigative thoroughness and transparency."

Brown added that though there was early speculation the assault was race-related, the investigation has not revealed evidence to support those claims.

"We currently don't have evidence to that effect, and we have to deal with the facts, and the facts have to matter before we jump to those conclusions," said Brown.

Collins is black. Of the 22 total officers who responded to the scene, at least two are Hispanic. One of the 22 officers is black. She arrived at the scene after the arrest to wait with the motorcycle for a wrecker, Brown said.

Brown cited a transcript of the dash-cam video during the pursuit to indicate that raw emotion and premeditation were factors in the assault, not Collins' race.

"'Keep us going, I'm gonna kick the sh*t out of him,'" Brown read from transcript.

No racial slurs were heard on the radio transmissions or recordings, he said.

In addition to the three officers facing charges, three additional officers -- Jeremy James Francis, Robert James Kamphouse and Daniel Stephen Malouf -- have been placed on restricted duty while the investigation continues.

Those officers were seen in the video on top of Collins, but Brown said investigators weren't able to make out what the men were doing because the red and blue police lights distorted the video.

Brown said he delayed release of the dash-cam video for 10 days because investigators continued to find evidence, including seven additional dash-cam videos and witness reports. He also said he wanted to release the video near the end of the investigation, when there was a resolution for the officers involved.

Other officers who arrived at the scene will be interviewed during the Internal Affairs investigation. In addition, the FBI will conduct a concurrent investigation into possible civil rights violations.

"I expect officers observing any of their peers violating the law or the department's rules to report these violations immediately," Brown said. "No one incident should define the integrity or leadership or character of the Dallas Police Department. The public's trust and confidence in the police department cannot and will not be compromised by the misconduct of a few officers."

Brown showed the video to civil rights and community leaders in a closed-door meeting and let them voice concerns.

"I have seen the video, and I realize we are still facing some issues in this nation and in this city," said Karry Wesley, the pastor of Antioch Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church.

Collins attends Wesley's church. Wesley said Collins and his family are struggling with the assault.

"I am talking to the family and letting them know Chief Brown has made it perfectly clear, whatever they can do to cause them to feel at ease with whatever steps they need to take, he's available," he said.

Brown dropped a charge of resisting arrest against Collins on Monday.

Collins has an extensive criminal record that includes convictions on drug, weapons and drunk driving charges, according to Texas Department of Public Safety records. Five of his previous eight arrests were by Dallas police, including one in April on drug charges.

Randolph had been with the Dallas Police Department for a year and a half. Bauer has been on the force for less than two years, and Duetsch is a two-year DPD veteran.

Brown said he wants to review the pairing of young officers. All of the six officers who were disciplined were rookies.

J.J. Koch, Randolph's attorney, told the Associated Press his client was fired because he had not completed his probationary period.

Randolph is "considered an at-will employee and they don't have the appeals rights that other officers have," Koch said. "Right now, it's simply a matter of waiting for the criminal process and waiting for the completion of the investigation and we'll address issues as they come up."

NBCDFW's Ellen Goldberg and Omar Villafranca contributed to this report.

Video: DPD Assault on Dashboard Cam
Video: DPD Launches Excessive Force Investigation
Video: Brown Meets With Civil Rights, Community Leaders
Video: Chief Brown Reviews Timeline
Video: Chief Brown Appeals to "the Calmer Voices of the Community"
Video: Chief Brown Answers Questions From the Media

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