Officer Sues Dallas For Back Pay After Firing Overturned

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DALLAS (AP) — A Dallas police officer who won reinstatement to the force last year is suing the city and police Chief David Brown for full back pay.

Officer Jesus Martinez was fired in 2014 after a bystander videotaped him pinning a panhandler to the ground. A grand jury decided not to charge Martinez with misdemeanor official oppression and he was reinstated by a civil service review board.

But Martinez and his attorneys in the lawsuit filed Thursday argue the city failed to fully reimburse him by deducting income he had made during his appeal. The lawsuit also seeks damages for suffering and undermining his reputation.

Community members rallied around Martinez during his appeal, making T-shirts that said, “Save Jesus.”

“The city wrongfully fired me. Then it wanted to penalize me for getting my job back,” Martinez said.

Martinez said he has not felt other retaliation since being reinstated to the force. A handful of officers in uniform stood in the back of the room during his press conference at a venue in the Deep Ellum neighborhood.

A spokeswoman for the Dallas Police Department referred questions to the city attorney. The city attorney’s office did not respond to messages seeking comment, but a city spokeswoman said the city attorney is reviewing the lawsuit and did not have an immediate comment.

Martinez’s attorney, Andy Atkins, said he would not discuss the amount of back pay deducted, saying the officer, “wished to be made whole.” The lawsuit also seeks damages for suffering and undermining Martinez’s reputation.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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