Investigator: Bryan Officer Not Justified in Actions

The Bryan assistant police chief who was the primary investigator into allegations of misconduct said suspended Sergeant Steve French was not justified in his actions against a suspect.

Testimony in French's arbitration hearing continued Thursday, with Assistant Chief Curtis Darby taking the stand to discuss his investigation, which included an interview with Jonathon Moore, the 23-year-old arrested by French in June.

"I didn't put a lot of stock in what Mr. Moore had to say," Darby said. "He admitted to being intoxicated."

However, it's what French's colleague, Officer Randell Hall, says happened that Darby took more stock in. Hall continued testifying Thursday that he witnessed French entered the home where Moore was being held and curse repeatedly at Moore. French allegedly pulled Moore off a bench where he was sitting, and then slapped Moore while on top of him.

French denied slapping Moore in testimony Wednesday, and said he used appropriate force to subdue Moore, who had reportedly kicked at French at some point in the heated confrontation.

Darby said he found Hall to be credible in his talks with the officer. Darby also twice interviewed French, and though French said he didn't believe two officers could have worked together to stop Moore because of the layout of the room, Darby did not believe that to be true based on what he had uncovered.

Darby also said it was French cursing at Moore that was, in part, conduct unbecoming of an officer, one of the three charges French faces, along with untruthfulness and excessive force.

"That constituted Mr. Moore acting out in a defensive manner and not in an offensive manner," Darby said in testimony Thursday. "That was my opinion in the investigation as to why he kicked out at Sgt French."

At the beginning of Thursday's proceedings, the arbitrator closed the hearing to the public as the two sides debated over the use of a polygraph test French took from BPD. No ruling was made.

In fact, it will be a few more days before testimony continues. The arbitrator left Bryan for another scheduled case he is presiding over. His return has yet to be determined.

The attorney for the city has at least three more witnesses to call before she wraps up her side's case. Then, the defense will call its witnesses, including a return to the stand for French, who was called by the city Wednesday.

Moore remains in jail on numerous charges, including aggravated sexual assault of a child. He's accused of a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl. Bond is set at just under $69,000

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