Two Dallas police officers have exhausted their administrative appeals, and have filed a lawsuit against the City of Dallas. The suit claims damages due to retaliation for filing an internal affairs report on fellow officers.
In this classic case of good cop/bad cop we have Officer and Iraq Veteran Christopher Worden, and his supervisor/Medal of Valor winner, Sgt. Jason Scoggins as the good guys.
An incident that took place on April 24th, 2014 left Officer Worden feeling morally obligated to report the actions of another officer to his superior, Jason Scoggins.
That incident occurred when Worden responded to a Walmart parking lot where he saw officer Nicholas Smith arguing with a juvenile in handcuffs while Smith’s supervisor, Sgt. Fred Mears, looked on.
The teenager was taunting officer Smith from the backseat of a squad car. The following is part of a transcript from one officer’s body microphone. The teen tells Smith:
“Take me out these handcuffs, on my life, I’ll dust you, by yourself.”
The fully-grown officer Smith responds to the taunts in an act of pure immaturity:
“Don’t temp [sic] me. We gone get the handcuffs off for ya, then you gone dust me like you say you is.”
English is apparently not a strong suit of Texas cops.
That is when Smith’s superior, Sgt. Mears ordered officer Worden to remove the teen’s handcuffs. Worden complied with the superior officer and removed the child’s cuffs. At the same time, Officer Smith began to remove his gun belt and badge, as if to ready himself for a physical fight with the teen.
Mears can then be heard excitedly saying, “Aww, sh*t”.
That is when Officer and Veteran, Chris Worden, went against the orders of a superior officer and re-cuffed the teen, placing him safely back into the squad car.
After the incident, Worden went to his immediate supervisor, Sgt. Scoggins and told him about what he’d witnessed. Scoggins then prompted Worden to file a complaint with internal affairs.
Both Smith and Mears were placed on administrative leave for one month.
After that, both Officer Worden and Sgt. Scoggins noticed clear and blatant attacks against their integrity as police officers by fellow cops.
Months later the bad cops even went as far as to file a complaint of excessive force against Worden and Scoggins after they had to take down an armed suspect who refused to keep his arms raised… I’m sure Smith would have just shot the guy.
Worden and Scoggins were then placed on administrative leave.
The lawsuit states that Mears was seen celebrating with a “fist-pump” by at least two other sergeants .
The charges were eventually dropped, but Worden and Scoggins were left with damages that included:
“The loss of reputation, loss of wages, loss of seniority, loss of promotion, future pecuniary losses, emotional pain, suffering,inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-pecuniary losses.”
The Officers are asking for $250,000 each, as well as their position and seniority back.
It’s pretty ridiculous that two morally righteous cops could be allowed to be targeted for doing their job as peace officers.
They saw an act of aggression towards a handcuffed minor, and had serious cause for concern about the future actions of officers Smith and Mears.
To read the entire lawsuit including more details of the acts of retaliation, click here.
Dash-cam video of the original incident courtesy of The Dallas Morning News via YouTube: