The Fort Worth Police Department announced the firing of five police officers and the suspension of two others on Tuesday, for failing to call an ambulance for a man who died in custody six months ago.
In a statement, police identified the terminated officers as T. Stephens, D. Pritzker, C. Golden, H. Fellhauer, and M. Miller. A sixth officer, S. Smith, was suspended without pay for 90 days and a seventh, A. Scharf, was suspended for five days.
On July 26, the officers responded to a report of a man armed with a gun who was attempting to break into a home in the 3300 block of Griggs Avenue.
the suspect who was taken into custody began to complain of medical issues. He was then placed in the back of a patrol vehicle by the officers but no one called for medical help.
After completing their on-scene investigation, the officers found the man unresponsive in the back of the patrol vehicle and began to render medical aid. Someone called an ambulance and the man was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The Fort Worth Police Department Major Case Unit and Internal Affairs Unit began investigating the man’s death, according to police.
The investigation determined the officers committed multiple violations of departmental policy, including failure to protect the rights of persons in police custody, according to police.
“The actions taken by the officers involved in this incident discovered during our investigation are not in accordance with the values of the Fort Worth Police Department or the standards that the citizens of Fort Worth have for their police department,” police said in a statement. “We hope that the administrative conclusion of this case is an assurance to the residents of Fort Worth that we are able to identify and properly address any issues that may arise during police incidents.”