Schertz police officers involved in Zekee Rayford case won’t be suspended, will return to patrol, city says

Schertz PD: Investigation did not find excessive use of force

SAN ANTONIO – Three Schertz police officers involved in the arrest of Zekee Rayford, who was tackled and tased by officers on Nov. 2 in front of his home, will not face suspensions following the conclusion of an internal investigation.

The Schertz Police Department on Thursday stated that while Rayford and his family alleged the officers violated the department’s policy on use of force and other rules of conduct, the investigation found that the officers only violated their duty to be “kind, courteous and patient.”

Linda Klepper, the public affairs director for Schertz, told KSAT that the three officers involved — Frank Chavarria, Megan Fennesy and Danielle Apgar — will return to patrol duty in January. The officers have been removed from patrol duty since mid-November.

The officers will receive additional training and no suspensions, Klepper said. Attorneys for Rayford had called for them to be terminated, saying they used excessive force.

The officers, according to the department, did not show a violation of the use of force, nor did they break other rules on conduct, use of intimidation, treatment of people in custody or “responsibility to respect the rights of others.”

City Manager Mark Browne said city officials hired an outside consultant “to make sure that the written directives in our policies match the business practice.”

The department added that officers will undergo training at the start of 2021, as the investigation “identified training opportunities to reinforce policies and procedures.”

On Nov. 2, Rayford, 18, was going home when police said they attempted to pull him over for running a red light.

Police say the teen fled from them in his car and then resisted arrest, but the family said, "“It was unjust and uncalled for and threatening and a misuse of force. It just makes us feel unsafe in the community we live in.”

Rayford did not pull over for roughly a mile until he pulled into his family’s driveway and walked to the front door with his hands raised.

As he knocked on the front door of his home and screamed for his father, officers kicked, tased and kneed him, according to the Rayford family’s home surveillance footage.

Rayford was initially charged with possession of marijuana, evading arrest with a vehicle, evading arrest and resisting arrest, Guadalupe County records show.

Guadalupe County prosecutors later dropped the marijuana charge against him.

In the aftermath of the controversial arrest, which happened amid a national reckoning on police brutality and racial inequality, the Defenders uncovered a number of problematic issues within the Schertz Police Department.

An investigation showed one of the officers, Chavarria, had a history of disciplinary problems at multiple other law enforcement agencies that employed him.

Also, in March, Schertz police detective Chris Martinez used false information while writing a search warrant used to raid Rayford’s home. The detective falsely claimed that a useable amount of marijuana was seen inside the home, records showed.

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About the Authors:

Rebecca Salinas has worked as a digital journalist in San Antonio for six years. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined the KSAT 12 Defenders in 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat. He provides restaurant health reports for KSAT's "Behind the Kitchen Door." Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.