Princeton, TX – It seems that the Princeton police department has a murderous, abusive cop as their lieutenant who lied on his application to get the job. Sixteen years after being terminated from the Auburn, Washington police department for shooting a man in the back of the neck and killing him, Robert Michnick decided to try his hand at law enforcement again in the state of Texas. He was hired at the Princeton, Texas PD in September 2005.
However, one vigilant citizen, going by the YouTube name The Battousai, has produced a damning video exposing Michnick’s violent past. It also demonstrates that the Princeton police department did not adequately investigate Michnick before hiring him, and should review his employment relative to Texas police hiring guidelines.
The video starts with a visit to the Princeton police department, where Battousai tells Lieutenant Michnick that he is trying to find out how to file a complaint against an officer. Michnick immediately becomes arrogant and abrasive, saying, “Okay, well first, tell me what it’s about. They all work for me.”
Michnick continues insisting that before Battousai can fill out the form, he must tell Michnick the name of the officer.
“Unless I know who we’re talking about, I can’t help you,” says Michnick. “If you have a complaint about an officer, that’s absolutely wonderful. Let me know what the name of the officer is so I can make sure it’s with our department, and then I’ll be glad to tell you the process of how to fill out the report.”
Battousai doesn’t give in, and Michnick finally tells him that the complaint form is online. A visit to the Princeton PD website confirms that the complaint form is online, but nowhere does it say that a citizen must first tell the supervising officer who the subject of the complaint is before filing the complaint.
But this is just the start of the video, introducing us to Robert Michnick so we get an idea of his abrasive, unprofessional nature. To get the full story on this cop, Battousai delves into his past, when Michnick was a rookie officer at the Auburn, Washington police department.
On December 14, 1989, Michnick shot Samuel Johnson to death after a car chase from the scene of an alleged burglary. Michnick had been employed as an Auburn cop for less than a year.
“Officer Michnick claimed that after Mr. Johnson’s van crashed he charged at the officer with his hands clasped together as if carrying a weapon, forcing the officer to shoot. However, an autopsy revealed that Mr. Johnson had been shot in the back of the neck.”
No weapon was ever found. Michnick was fired on December 29, 1989, after a panel found the shooting unjustified. Mr. Johnson’s family was also awarded a $150,000 settlement.
Several officers complained about Michnick in documents related to the firing, with Officer C. Gonter saying, “Personally I do not want to work around Officer Michnick. I do not want Officer Michnick backing me up on call and I will cancel him if he is responding. Officer Michnick escalates situations and is abusive to suspects in custody. I feel that Officer Michnick draws his weapon inappropriately and is dangerous to other officers and the public.”
Other officers alleged various misdeeds. In one instance, officers yelled at Michnick to stop before he slammed a suspect’s face against the car as another officer was handcuffing him. One officer prepared to handcuff a man who fled from a traffic stop, when Michnick began beating the restrained man’s head with a flashlight. A fleeing suspect had given up after being chased down by an officer and his police dog, when Michnick jumped on the man and began beating him, causing the dog to bite the suspect. An officer responding to a backup call from Michnick found him pointing a gun 2-3 inches from a man’s head, who had an unloaded rifle in the back seat and was being cooperative.
After Michnick had challenged his firing, then-police chief Jake Evans of the Auburn Police Department told local media that the shooting was a factor in Michnick’s firing, but was not the only factor.
Fast forward to September 2005, when Michnick lands a job at the Princeton, Texas police department. On his application form, Michnick lists his previous employment in Auburn but says the reason for leaving was “personal.” This is a lie, as the real reason was his unsuccessful probationary period, partly due to the shooting of Mr. Johnson.
Michnick must have known that his termination would fall under the category of “dishonorably discharged” according to Texas guidelines for hiring law enforcement personnel, and would have prevented him from landing the job.
In a deposition from 2014, Michnick acknowledged that he was terminated from the Auburn police department because he did not complete his probationary period successfully, due to being “involved in an officer-involved shooting.”
Adding to this tale of deception is the claim by then police chief Jeffrey Barnett that, despite a background check being carried out, he somehow did not know about Michnick’s past at the Auburn police department. Barnett said he was unaware that Michnick was fired after unjustifiably shooting an unarmed man which resulted in a civil suit against the city, or that Michnick had been out of law enforcement for 16 years. Barnett conveniently could not recall much information about Michnick’s hiring.
Considering the details of Robert Michnick’s career as a police officer in Auburn, the deception carried out when applying for the Princeton job, and the questionable judgment of police chief Barnett, the Princeton police department should reconsider whether Michnick is qualified for duty. His violent tendencies and abrasive nature do not seem to fit the role of protecting and serving.
The Free Thought Project would like to congratulate The Battousai for his brave actions in exposing this unscrupulous cop residing in the Princeton police department.