Dallas police officers kicked and punched George Pogue while he was already on the ground.
The scene was captured on the police car’s dashboard camera and Pogue says, “It’s appalling to me to watch this video and to re-live it again.”
It was June 19, 2012.
Pogue was driving home in Dallas with his three year old daughter and a friend.
Officers said they pulled him over because of a broken headlight, and because his daughter wasn’t buckled up.
When Pogue opens the door of his car and starts to get out, officers order him back in.
Pogue says, “The officer puts a gun to my head, now supposedly the gun accidentally went off, then I wouldn’t be here talking.”
That’s when officer Jason Arozamena holsters his gun, and draws his Taser.
When Pogue starts to walk away, officer Arozamena hits Pogue with it.
Pogue says, “They tased me for no reason. I didn’t say anything wrong.”
After Pogue fell, officer Louis Pacheco, kicked Pogue, then punched him twice.
Officer Arozamena then hit Pogue with the Taser again.
At the same time, you can hear Pogue’s daughter who’s crying, “I want my daddy, I want my daddy” as another officer carried her out of the car.
Pogue says, “Look at my daughter. It just breaks my heart to hear her voice like that, cause she shouldn’t have to go through that at a young age like that.”
Pogue says he ended up with a dislocated shoulder.
He was arrested for evading and resisting arrest and possessing marijuana.
Pogue says the drugs weren’t his.
All of the charges were eventually dropped.
Pogue filed a complaint with internal affairs against the officers.
During a disciplinary hearing, officer Arozamena defended his actions.
He told his superiors, “When he got out of the vehicle, I literally thought he was going to punch me sir or I thought he was about to pull out a gun and shoot me.”
Pogue was unarmed.
The officer’s supervisor told him, “I do believe your actions at the car were excessive when you shoved the gun in the car the way you did.”
As for Arozamena’s use of the Taser, his supervisor told him, “I know this is close to the line, but I believe your actions were not appropriate. When the community sees that video, you know how hard that is to explain?”
Officer Arozamena responded, “Yes sir, I do.”
During the same hearing, supervisors asked officer Pacheco why he kicked Pogue.
Pacheco said, “At that point, he was standing up.”
His supervisor said, “He wasn’t standing up, he just got tased.”
Pacheco replied, “Yes sir, but he was going back to his knees.”
The supervisor said, “You kicked him before he got to his knees Louis. He’s still laying on the ground.”
An internal affairs investigation obtained by the I-Team found both officers used unneccesary and/or inappropriate force. It also said officer Pacheco entered false information on the police report, and that officer
Arozamena gave misleading statements during the internal investigation.
In the end, officers Pacheco and Arozamena were each suspended one day without pay.
As for Pogue, he’s not happy with that punishment, but hopes it will prevent something like this from happening again.
When asked if he was lucky the police car’s dashboard camera was rolling, Pogue said, “I’m blessed, not only was it rolling, but I was in the picture enough. That was God.”
Both officers Pacheco and Arozamena told their superiors they didn’t watch the dashcam video before completing their reports.
They denied they lied on any report or during the investigation.
The officers’ attorneys say their clients have filed appeals.
On Tuesday, Pogue and his attorney Mike Kelly of Richardson filed a federal lawsuit against the Dallas Police Department and the officers seeking $750,000 in damages.
Dallas Police aren’t commenting on the case because Chief David Brown hasn’t reviewed the case yet, but is scheduled to do so after the first of the year.
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