San Antonio police officer fired after kneeling on suspect’s neck: records

2 officers fired in November 2019 excessive force incident

Officer Michael Brewer was fired from the San Antonio Police Department. (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – Two San Antonio police officers were handed indefinite suspensions after using excessive force on a handcuffed suspect who was not resisting arrest, according to disciplinary records.

Officers Michael Brewer and Andre Vargas were both fired for the incident that occurred on Nov. 26, 2019, according to the suspension records, obtained by KSAT under public information law. Vargas’ service photo was unavailable Wednesday.

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The officers responded to a disturbance call at Commercial Avenue and Grosvenor Boulevard, where they arrested a man. Although the man “appeared to provide no resistance,” administrators said Brewer caused “unnecessary physical violence” when he placed his left knee on the man’s neck, according to the document.

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Vargas also “used unnecessary force when he lifted (the man) off the ground in handcuffs by his arms, causing him unnecessary and unwarranted pain,” according to the suspension record.

Vargas also deployed his Taser “when that level of force far exceeded the reasonable force necessary to accomplish the arrest.”

The arrested man filed a complaint about the officers in January 2020, according to the records.

It’s unclear whether either officer is appealing the firing through arbitration.

The firings come as police have been under more scrutiny since the death of George Floyd, who died in May when a police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. Minneapolis police and other departments across the country have explicitly banned that type of restraint since Floyd’s death made national headlines.

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