Tyler PD Internal Investigation Complete, "Excessive Force" Case To Go To Grand Jury - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/3/05-Tyler

Tyler PD Internal Investigation Complete, "Excessive Force" Case To Go To Grand Jury

New information in an internal investigation at Tyler P.D.
 
Chief Gary Swindle said the department's investigation into the use of force by one of its officers is over. The case has now been handed over to the Smith County District Attorney's office.
 
D.A. Matt Bingham said he will present the case to a grand jury.
 
At issue was the force used by an officer when arresting two men following a reported shooting on July 15th. The two men were arrested and jailed, but later it was determine they had nothing to do with the shooting.
 
Wednesday Chief Swindle shed some light on the incidents of that night. He said he had immediate concerns after viewing the July 15th dash cam video. Still, Swindle said published reports about the incidents and statements from the alleged victims do not paint the entire picture.

"In what we viewed there was never, neither one of these individuals, was placed in a life threatening situation," Swindle said.
 
Records show 68-year-old Jose Romero and 33 year-old Ramone Gomez-Alanize were taken into custody.
 
Pictures of the incident surfaced in the Tyler Morning Telegraph last week for the first time, Chief Swindle talked about the moments before the arrest, as officers responded to a shots fired call.
 
"The citizens told the officer this was the vehicle that had fired the shots." Police said Romero and Gomez-Alanize were inside the vehicle. "When the officer tried to stop the vehicle, the vehicle fled. The vehicle did at least run two red lights, it ran a stop sign it went the wrong way on an entrance ramp."
 
Chief Swindle said from looking at the tape, some previously published details were never seen on the video.
 
"One of the arrestees comments, it mentioned being hit in the head with a flashlight. It mentioned his head being hit into the dash of the car. That did not happen. There was never a flashlight used in this situation what so ever. That's based on the review of the video where we can clearly see the officers maneuvers and procedures."
 
Chief Swindle said Romero was pepper sprayed. However, he never said if the officer used excessive force. That decision will now come from a grand jury.
 
Chief Swindle said the officer will remain on paid administrative leave until some sort of conclusion to the case is made.
 
Police said no external complaint has been filed. Romero is facing charges of public intoxication, while Gomez-Alanize charged with evading arrest.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com

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