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GRAPEVINE(CBS11 I-Team) – Grapevine Police say Ruben Garcia led police on a chase and then refused to listen to police commands. That’s why Officer Robert Clark had to shoot him, because he feared for his safety.
There is dash cam video from that night in February 2015. It was recorded in Clark’s patrol car; however, the Grapevine Police Department has refused to release it. They say releasing it could jeopardize a criminal investigation.
But now, new video uncovered by the CBS 11 I-Team shows Garcia in a different light.
Garcia was pulled over by Lewisville police in December 2014 for speeding and drinking and driving. He admits to the officer he drank several beers that night and he fails his sobriety test.
But legal expert and former Tarrant County Prosecutor Justin Sparks points out Garcia is calm and cooperative the entire time.
“The officer in that instance had no apprehension about this individual at all. In fact, he left him behind the wheel while he waited on another officer to come help,” Sparks points out.
That night Ruben Garcia was arrested for DWI by Lewisville Police, with breathalyzer tests doubling and tripling the legal limit. The video the I-Team got a hold of is video the grand jury has not seen yet, but probably will.
Domingo Garcia, the family’s attorney, didn’t even know it existed until we showed it to him.
“I think the family will be saddened that we are seeing a smear campaign of Ruben Garcia who’s dead and can’t defend himself,” Domingo Garcia told us.
But the I-Team also looked into Officer Robert Clark’s work history, which includes a job at DFW airport that lasted less than a year. His file says he failed several training courses and was on the verge of being fired for not telling his bosses he was working a side job. Clark resigned before that could happen.
That situation haunted Clark as he started to look for a new job.
Records the I-Team uncovered show Clark had applications pending with nine different departments. On one application filed with Benbrook Police, he admits Addison PD refused to hire him because they felt he lied about why he left DFW Airport and that was an example of “deception and lack of moral turpitude.”
Justin Sparks presented several cases to the grand jury when he was a prosecutor. He believes, all of the information we uncovered on Clark will be important for the jury to see, “This DA’s office is going to present absolutely everything they have, everything they know of, everything.”
Ruben Garcia’s family knew Clark had resigned from DFW Airport, but were surprised to hear about the other departments he was applying to.
They question why Grapevine Police would have hired someone when other agencies turned him down.
“They’re saying, ‘oh well he deserved a second chance.’ Did he give my brother in law a second chance?” Fernando Romero, Garcia’s brother–in-law, questioned. “I don’t think so.”
Internal hiring documents show Grapevine PD knew about Clark’s past. And even though two evaluators were concerned about the issue, the department hired him anyway.
“Why they cannot take different actions? Just because they have a suit, because they have a badge they can do whatever they want? I don’t think so,” Romero stated.
Officer Clark’s attorney, Lance Wyatt, declined an interview because he doesn’t want to jeopardize their case since the grand jury gets the case Wednesday. CBS11’s I-Team also tried to get Grapevine PD to talk, but they refused saying they also want to wait for the grand jury’s decision.
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