Temple Police Officers Fired After Use of Excessive Force
Two officers with the Temple Police Department have been fired after an internal investigation of allegations they used excessive force during an arrest earlier this year.
Daniel Amaya and Jeremy Bales have been indefinitely suspended from the department after the investigation determined that they violated the department’s rules and regulations during a May 18 arrest.
On May 22, the department received a complaint from the mother of a teen who had been arrested in the parking lot of the Temple Walmart on South 31st St. The two officers were arresting another person when Lorenzo Martinez approached the scene out of curiosity. The officers, believing he was involved, tried to handcuff him. When Martinez resisted, he was pushed to the ground and held down. It was later discovered by Scott & White physicians that Martinez suffered a broken clavicle as a result of the force.
Temple Police Chief Gary Smith wrote a letter to Martinez’s mother expressing remorse for the action of the officers.
"Two officers have been indefinitely suspended from the department," Smith wrote. "An indefinite suspension is the civil service equivalent to a termination. It is the strongest administrative action that I can take."
"On behalf of the Temple Police Department, and myself, I can also offer an apology for the conduct of the former officers," he went on to write. "Their actions in this matter is neither condoned nor representative of the policies, protocols or training of the Department."
The Martinez family’s attorney has expressed respect for Smith and his actions, but has criticized Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza, who he said failed to successfully indict the officers involved.
According to Smith’s letter, the officers intend to appeal the decision.