Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Lawyer: Fired Victoria Police Officer Didn't Break Law

Posted By on Tue, Jan 13, 2015 at 11:21 AM

click image This screen grab shows dash cam footage obtained by the Victoria Advocate that shows former police officer Nathanial Robinson detaining an elderly man moments before Robinson uses a taser on the man. - VICTORIA ADVOCATE
  • Victoria Advocate
  • This screen grab shows dash cam footage obtained by the Victoria Advocate that shows former police officer Nathanial Robinson detaining an elderly man moments before Robinson uses a taser on the man.

A Texas Municipal Police Association lawyer says a fired Victoria police officer didn't break the law or any department policies when he used a taser on an elderly man.

"There's nothing unreasonable at all about that level of force," TMPA lawyer Greg Cagle told the The Victoria Advocate, explaining that 76-year-old Pete Vasquez, who was pulled over for an expired inspection sticker on December 11, "wasn't injured. He scratched his elbow and hurt his feelings, but those aren't injuries in the constitutional sense."

Cagle is representing Nathanial Robinson, 23, who was fired last week, in an appeal to Victoria's assistant city manager.

click image This screen grab from dash cam footage obtained by the Victoria Advocate shows former police officer Nathanial Robinson using a taser on an elderly man. - VICTORIA ADVOCATE
  • Victoria Advocate
  • This screen grab from dash cam footage obtained by the Victoria Advocate shows former police officer Nathanial Robinson using a taser on an elderly man.
Dash cam video shows Robinson detaining Vasquez moments after pulling the man over, and then the two fall to the ground. Robinson then reappears in the video and is holding a taser gun, which he used on Vasquez twice, according to the original press conference posted on YouTube by the City of Victoria (we've posted it below).

Onlookers in the dash cam video, which you can watch here, appear to be immediately shocked at Robinson's treatment of the elderly Vasquez.

"There's just not going to be anyone that has a problem from a constitutional perspective on this case," Cagle told The Victoria Advocate. "It came at a bad time in the country—the timing of it was bad, but clearly the stop was legal, the detention was lawful, the request for the guy to stand there was a lawful, legal request, and then his resistance was a basis for him to be arrested."

Cagle could be referring to anyone of the recent police-related deaths to make national headlines, including Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by police last summer in Missouri, or Eric Garner, who died in New York City after a police officer placed him in a chokehold, or the 12-year-old boy, Tamir Rice, who was shot and killed by Cleveland police last year.

The City of Victoria fired Robinson after an internal investigation found he violated conduct and performance, use of force and arrest without warrant policies, according to The Victoria Advocate.





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