Arlington, Texas – More than a half of the police officers with Arlington Police Department signed a petition against their Chief Al Jones and the two unions representing the officers confirmed they lost confidence in their police chief.
According to the unions, the current situation initially stems from recent police shooting of a man believed to be impaired behind the wheel and the officer involved in the shooting was fired from the department just two days after the incident.
The petition against the police chief is signed by 368 police officers, which is more than a half, and it was presented to the Arlington City Council Tuesday evening.
Both groups believe Chief Jones isn’t following the core principles he laid out when he was hired earlier this year, including transparency and accountability.
“There is at least one incident that has brought some issues for the department for our members,” President of Arlington Municipal Patrolmen’s Association Chris Ceballos said.
However, Ceballos claims that this is just one incident, but there are many more which he won’t present to the public at this time.
The officer involved shooting took place in October when Officer Robert Phillips shot and killed suspected drunken driver behind the wheel and he was fired just 48 hours after the incident.
“What actually happened was he was fired on a Friday, and the backup officer who was there on scene with him wasn’t even interviewed until the following Monday,” Ceballos said.
Right after the officer was fired from the department, the police chief held a press conference for the public claiming that his decision to fire officer Phillips was a result of a thorough internal investigation. But both police unions believe that 48 hours is simply not enough time for conducting proper investigation as the police chief claimed during the press conference.
Ceballos says a thorough investigation was never conducted and believes Chief Jones rushed to judgment.
“The tension is coming from them having to worry about their job. Worry if they are going get due process if they do something wrong,” he said.