Fort Worth, TX — A Fort Worth police officer’s actions against an innocent woman were so disturbing that it actually prompted the department to fire him. The 22-year-veteran of the force, Sgt. Kenneth Pierce was fired this week after body camera footage showed him hold an innocent woman by the hair and arm and demand his rookie partner taser her.
On Monday, a use of force review was completed which noted that Pierce’s conduct that August night was “absolutely unacceptable.”
According to police, the incident began when Pierce and the rookie officer were called to an apartment complex for assistance regarding a domestic disturbance. The subsequent interaction was captured on body camera footage and was discovered during a mandatory “use of force” review, according to the department.
Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald told reporters that Sgt. Pierce “impatient, initiated an unnecessary physical confrontation, and then ordered a rookie police officer to ‘Tase’ the woman.”
As the body camera footage shows, the rookie and Pierce confront the couple at a residence and demand that they turn around and face the wall. The woman in the video is entirely compliant and tells the officers that her baby is inside the home.
The officers then tell the woman to show them the 5-year-old girl who was inside the apartment.
The woman admits that she called police because she wanted her boyfriend to leave. However, instead of protecting the woman and asking the man to leave her home, they treated her like a criminal—even though she admitted to calling them.
The police officers did not know the law and when the woman refused to show them her ID, they reacted with force.
To be clear, there is no requirement under Texas law to carry ID nor does a person have to identify themselves to an officer unless they’ve been lawfully arrested. This was hardly a lawful arrest.
The woman did take her ID out, but she refused to hand it over to the officers once they turned from protectors to a threat. This refusal infuriated the officers. Ignoring the law, the officer demanded once again that the woman show her ID.
“If I knew police were going to be like this, I wouldn’t have called y’all,” the unnamed woman said.
After she refused to hand over her ID once more, police moved in to place her under arrest, again, unlawfully. Remember, she was the victim here.
“Let my hand go, let my hand go!” the woman—who is now being kidnapped—yells over and over again.
Pierce then grabs the woman by her right arm and by the back of the head and holds her in position as he demands his partner “Tase her.”
The woman collapses to the ground and is handcuffed. She begs police to allow her to call her brother to pick up her daughter but they refuse.
“You’re getting CPS,” one officer can be hear saying, noting that Child Protective Services will be called in to take her daughter away.
As the video continues to roll, the female rookie cop articulates numerous threats, noting that she has no problem tasering the handcuffed woman again.
“This taser is still on. I will tase you again,” says the rookie, before exclaiming, “I don’t give a fuck right now.”
“I’m confident that everyone who sees this video, including members of this department, will agree this supervisor’s response and subsequent behaviors are absolutely unacceptable,” Fitzgerald said.
“We are built on a foundation of being problem-solvers,” Fitzgerald added. “Pierce responded in an opposite manner, and he escalated the situation endangering everyone involved, including his fellow officers.”
Naturally, the police union has come out in full support of the fired cop and Terry Daffron, attorney for the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas, tells the Star-Telegram that he doesn’t agree with Fitzgerald’s assessment of the video. Daffron will be representing Pierce in his appeal.
“They are making claims that Pierce escalated the situation, and I don’t see it that way,” Daffron told the Star-Telegram. “I see that she was completely noncompliant with everything she was asked to do. He came in and was trying to help the rookie officer gain control to try to get her to comply.”
Make no mistake, the woman in the video below will most assuredly think twice before the next time she calls police for help.