Smith County constable, deputies accused of theft, official oppression have licenses suspended by TCOLE
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A Smith County constable and two of his deputies who were arrested by the Texas Rangers in November and booked into the Smith County Jail have now had their licenses suspended. The trio was booked on various charges that included Theft of Property by a Public Servant and Official Oppression.
According to an official with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, the peace officer licenses of LaQuenda Banks, Derrick Holman, and Constable Curtis Harris have been summarily suspended under TCOLE administrative rules (37 TAC 223.18) pending the outcome of their criminal proceedings. They were notified of this action on December 3, and it took effect that day, TCOLE said.
According to TCOLE, under that summary suspension, Banks and Holman are ineligible to be appointed as peace officers, and may not exercise authority as a peace officer, during that time.
Constable Harris is a constitutionally elected official. This action does not remove him from that office or prevent him from exercising the authority afforded him as the elected constable. A removal proceeding would be initiated at the county level, the official said.
An incident on Oct. 18 brought the suspensions about.
According to the arrest affidavit obtained by KLTV, Constable Traylor-Harris instructed his deputies to turn off their body cameras during the execution of an eviction on Oct. 18. It appears Banks turned the camera on when she thought she was turning it off, and later turned it off when she thought she was turning it on. The camera footage gives evidence of the thefts.
The affidavit listed a number of items that the constable and his two deputies are accused of stealing. The items included a GShock watch, an Apple Watch, ammunition, Apple Air Pods, Oakley and Ray Ban sunglasses, a safe containing antique coins, a quarter collection, military medals, a diploma, a birth certificate, and a social security card, as well as cash.
According to the affidavit, the resident told police she noticed the items were missing and she filed a theft report. Traylor-Harris, Banks and Holman each denied the thefts in separate interviews.
Read full details of what the bodycam footage showed here.
Read the original arrest article here.
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