The Defenders’ one-hour investigative special dives into misconduct and disciplinary procedure at SAPD.
Data obtained by KSAT under public information law showed fired officers who later appealed were reinstated to their jobs 67.5% of the time from 2010-2019, either by a third-party arbitrator or after the chief reconsidered their termination.
Coverage in the “Broken Blue” series:
San Antonio City Manager Erik Walsh issued a statement to KSAT in response to the “Broken Blue” investigative special:
“Clearly, the current collective bargaining agreement limits the Chief’s ability to appropriately discipline officers that deserve to be disciplined. We intend to bring those issues to the next contract negotiation with the police union. I am hoping the police union will agree that these cases tarnish and impact the community’s confidence in our police department.
The residents of San Antonio expect better behavior from police officers than what these individuals demonstrated, and frankly, so do I. Fortunately, the conduct of these few does not reflect of the high character of the more than 2,300 other officers on the streets protecting our community today.”
The San Antonio Police Officers Association (SAPOA) issued a press release that read in part:
“This series attacks SAPOA and our members by saying we’re too powerful and that we make it difficult to remove ‘problem’ officers,” said Michel Helle, President of the San Antonio Police Officers Association. “While I agree we’re a strong organization, when it comes to the discipline and appeals process, our role is simple and transparent: ensure that the rights of officers are observed and protected.”
Have a question about police misconduct and discipline? Send it in the prompt below.