DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Police Chief David Brown has fired another Dallas police officer, the department announced Monday.
Six-year veteran Eric Watts, 31, was terminated following an internal investigation that found he offered incorrect information in a police incident report that helped levy a false felony charge against a suspect. The charge, which was later dropped, carried a punishment of between five and 99 years in prison.
On April 1, Watts was pursuing a fleeing orange Nissan that failed to pull over once his squad car’s lights came on. The suspect eventually slowed at a stop sign and Watts got out of his cruiser with a gun drawn.
The driver fled again; a department release says Watts would later tell another officer that the driver ran over his foot. Dash cam video proved otherwise, the release says, and the department launched an internal investigation.
When that wrapped up, investigators found Watts violated a department policy that orders officers not to pursue suspects who flee during a traffic violation. But, more seriously, the incorrect information Watts provided led to a felony charge against the suspect.
The suspect had been charged with aggravated assault and evading arrest –– the assault charge was dropped after police watched the dash video.
Dallas County records show Watts was also indicted by a Grand Jury on May 4 for filing a false police report, a Class B misdemeanor.
Watts has the right to appeal the firing.
The release says “these actions brought discredit to the department.”
Last week, Brown fired Officer Kelly Schumpert, who was arrested in Forney for driving while intoxicated. Sr. Cpl. Stanley McDaniel was also suspended for filing a report with false information.