Long Wait Ahead for Bryan Officer Relieved of Duties

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

It could still be another 45 days before a former Bryan police sergeant finds out if he'll get his old job back.

Steve French is accused of using inappropriate force, and later lying about it to investigators. But Tuesday he took the stand, for his last chance to tell his side of the story.

French's actions following the alleged misconduct were called into question one more time. The city attorney asked him why he hadn't filed additional charges against the suspect Jonathan Moore, for his behavior during his arrest.

Charges such as, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.

"It didn't meet the elements of assault on a police officer, he didn't kick me, he attempted to," French told the arbitrator.

It's his last chance to save his career and his name.

"Is it your opinion that Officer Hall mistook what he saw, or what he heard," the Arbitrator questioned French. "Or do you think he intentionally misrepresented what happened?"

"At first I thought he might have seen something that I was unaware of, but as the investigation progressed, I think he is deliberately misrepresenting what he heard," French said.

Steve French tells the arbitrator he believes Officer Hall may have twisted the facts of what happened the day, they arrested Jonathan Moore, possibly because of a girl.

"Do you have a history that would make you believe he would lie about you," the Arbitrator asked French. "I can't prove it, but I've often wondered if he could be angry because the girl he dates I once went out with."

An audio recording of a sound is at the center of the controversy.

One side believes it's French slapping Moore, the other says it's not.

"You can clearly hear there's skin to skin contact," Bryan Police Chief Ty Morrow said.

"They have this phantom sound they want to make it skin to skin contact, and they can't connect it to anything," French's Attorney Richard Aman said.

The ruling of what the sound is though is now in the hands of the arbitrator.

He says it's his job to try and figure out what happened that day, or at least what the city is able to prove happened.

"You got a police officer whose obviously got a long, and very good career here and has been a good example as a police officer for this city," Arbitrator Don Hays said. "The question is has he crossed the line so far that he cannot be a productive and reliable police officer for this community."

News 3 spoke with Bryan Police Chief Ty Morrow after the hearing Tuesday who says if French is re-instated he will respect the decision.

But also adds if that happens he will have to find a place for him in the department that doesn't put the public at risk.

Meanwhile, French's attorney says, French has been nothing but truthful about his actions throughout the process.

Before a decision can be reached, both sides will have to send in reports to the arbitrator. From that point it could then take another 30 to 45 days for him to reach a decision.

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