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City detention officer fired for ‘aggressively’ striking prisoner’s head, records show

Appeal of Joaquin Jasso’s termination postponed to Sept. 15

Former city of San Antonio detention officer Joaquin Jasso.
Former city of San Antonio detention officer Joaquin Jasso. (City of San Antonio)

SAN ANTONIO – A City of San Antonio detention officer was fired last year after repeated excessive force incidents involving prisoners, records released to the KSAT 12 Defenders show.

Joaquin Jasso was given a final termination notice in October after a city investigation determined he “aggressively applied strikes” to the head of a prisoner in custody at the city magistrate’s office last September.

It was at least Jasso’s third excessive force incident since late 2018, city discipline records show.

“Your most recent incident and the entirety of your personnel record has been taken into consideration when determining the appropriate letter of discipline. I have lost confidence in your ability to perform your duties as a Detention Officer and have decided to issue this NOTICE OF PROPOSED TERMINATION,” a letter signed by facility supervisors states.

Jasso had been suspended in October 2018 and again in July 2019 for separate violations of the city’s use of force practicum, records show.

Investigators also determined Jasso was untruthful about the 2020 incident.

Central Magistrate's Office (KSAT)

Footage showed that the prisoner did not make any physical contact with Jasso or exhibit threatening behavior toward the officer, records show.

“An inaccurate report and misrepresentation of the incident is unacceptable as it damages your reputation as well as discredits the Detention Center and the judicial system. Your actions are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” Jasso’s termination paperwork states.

Reached by telephone late last month, Jasso declined to comment since he is still appealing his termination.

That appeal before the city’s Municipal Civil Service Commission was recently postponed to Sept. 15, meaning it will take place more than a year after the incident itself happened.

Jasso’s firing capped off a troubled career with the city.

In a 2014 performance review, a supervisor wrote that Jasso had not shown good judgment as far as integrity and professionalism were concerned and had several incidents of employee misconduct during the evaluation period.

Jasso served a 10-day suspension that year after telling a female prisoner that he would take her to dinner and then repeatedly texting her after she was released from custody, records show.

The woman later complained that Jasso had subjected her to harassment and demonstrated inappropriate behavior toward her, records show.

A review conducted in 2015 noted that Jasso was making improvements, however, and was now taking responsibility for his performance at work.

Three years later, in 2018, Jasso was suspended one day after using an improper take down maneuver on someone who was handcuffed behind his back, records show.

After getting a proposed termination for a separate use of force incident in 2019, Jasso saw the punishment reduced to a 10-day suspension, according to a letter issued to him by San Antonio Police Department Chief William McManus.

Jasso was also reprimanded in 2018, after getting caught on camera using his cell phone in a restricted area, records show.

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About the Author:

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.