San Antonio Police Department
A San Antonio police officer has been terminated for using unprofessional language during an arrest last summer, and video shows him using a racial epithet during the encounter.
In a report aired by KSAT
, former officer Tim Garcia's body camera indicated he repeatedly used the slurs while arresting a black man named Dewaxne Robinson at River Center Mall on July 14, 2018.
The mall's security cards called police after Robinson got "aggressive and confrontational with mall patrons as they were walking by," according to the report. That behavior allegedly included "using vulgar language" and "threatening patrons."
KSAT obtained a copy of footage
from Garcia's body camera, which shows Robinson appearing calm as Garcia and his partner walk up to him.
In the video, Robinson told the officers he felt he was being harassed by the mall's security guards, who he said told him to leave and were following him as he tried to exit.
Garcia then told Robinson that he needed to comply with the mall guards' orders or else he could face arrest.
Robinson denied doing anything wrong and gave his identification to Garcia. He asked the officer why he could be charged with criminal trespassing if he was cooperating with them.
In his report, Garcia wrote that Robinson "refused" to hand over his ID and changed his posture to "an aggressive stance."
When Garcia asked for the ID a second time, video shows Robinson saying, "No, hold up," before the officer placed him in handcuffs.
As he and his partner spoke with the guards during the arrest, Garcia and Robinson argued back and forth.
"You know what's bullshit?" Garcia can be heard saying in the video
. "The way you were raised is bullshit."
After Robinson complained about his arm being twisted in the handcuffs and referred to Garcia as "n—a," the officer mocked him and reportedly said
, "N—a? Do I look like your n—a? Say it right. Put an 'r' at the end. If you're going to say it, don't call me n—a. I ain't your n—a."
Garcia didn't stop there.
At one point, according to the report, Garcia called Robinson a "fucked up n—a." He also allegedly told Robinson, "Fuck you too. Here, here, this is the police telling you, 'Fuck you.' How do you like that?"
The recording also shows the officer using his baton "as a pressure point" during a pat-down. That was the breaking point for Robinson, who said the use of force prompted him to file a complaint a month after his arrest, according to the KSAT report.
When reviewing the footage after the complaint, a sergeant wrote that Garcia's vulgar language was "unnecessary." However, that same sergeant noted that Garcia didn't use the N-word in a racist manner but "merely repeated the word after Robinson said it out loud several times."
Two lieutenants who reviewed the footage determined that Garcia acted unprofessionally. All three department officials recommended that Garcia face a Letter of Reprimand
A deputy chief disagreed, though, saying that Garcia's "fuck you" was unprofessional enough to forward the footage to Internal Affairs for a formal investigation. Chief William McManus agreed with the review board's recommendation of an indefinite suspension — essentially a termination from the force.
"Indefinitely suspending the officer was the only remedy to this particular situation," McManus said
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