Former Bryan Police Officer Tries to Clear His Name

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

He's accused of using inappropriate force and displaying conduct unbecoming for police officer.

Steve French was relieved of his duties in August, after the police department says both his conduct and truthfulness came into question.

But French got a chance Wednesday to tell his side of the story.

"He's trying clear his name and his career," French's Attorney Richard Aman said.

There's two very different sides as to what happened one June morning when two police officers got the call to respond to an assault of a 13-year-old girl, by a 23-year-old man.

"With the suspect on the floor, Mr. French leans over the suspect who is flat on his back on the floor with his hands cuffed behind him and slapped him on the face with an open hand," Bryan City Attorney Bettye Lynn said.

"The very interesting point to this whole thing is Jonathan Moore doesn't even remember anything," Aman added.

Both French and Officer Randell Hall recall questioning the suspect, and later things heating up a bit after the suspect allegedly tried to kick French.

But that's where the similarities end, and the disparities begin.

"I saw him raise his hand back," Hall testified.

The city believes that's when French slapped the suspect. They say the sound of slap was even recorded.

But French says that never happened.

When asked by the city attorney if he slapped the suspect, French answers "no."

French's Attorney Richard Aman says not only did Jonathan Moore never report he was hit, in fact, he never said anything at all.

"There is no outcry on the audio," Aman said. "The city has misread this whole thing, and railroaded Steve French as far as the untruthfulness is concerned."

Officer Hall, who reported the incident to the department, broke down several times while testifying saying that it was hard for him to turn his superior officer in, and that he was torn up over what to do.

French's attorney called the credibility of Officer Hall into question several times. Asking him why details between previous interviews with police, and his testimony Wednesday differed in some areas.

Hall responded to the new details by stating, "Sometimes you remember things better after the fact."

The city attorney also told the head examiner, even if French is re-instated with the police department, since his truthfulness was called into question, it would be difficult for French to later testify for the prosecution in court.

The arbitration hearing will resume Thursday morning at Bryan City Hall.


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