BRENHAM, Texas The following is a news release from the Brenham Police Department:
After a review of an officer’s actions in a recent police pursuit, Police Chief Craig U. Goodman has terminated the employment of that officer.
Corporal Richard Bobbitt was dismissed from his position Monday afternoon following an administrative hearing.
He had been with the Brenham PD for six years.
Corporal Bobbitt was involved in a pursuit of a stolen vehicle on July 14, 2016 when the female suspect left Brenham driving toward Houston and was pursued by Corporal Bobbitt and other law enforcement officers, with multiple agencies involved in the pursuit.
The vehicle was stopped near the Harris/Waller County line when her tires were deflated by a spike strip deployed on US 290. Officer Bobbitt removed the female suspect from the vehicle once it had stopped.
After an internal affairs investigation was completed, Corporal Bobbitt was found to have used excessive force in his detention and arrest of the suspect.
The investigation showed that Corporal Bobbitt unnecessarily struck the suspect multiple times in her face and head after she was removed from the vehicle.
Any time force is used in the apprehension of a suspect, it is noted in the reports generated about the incident and reviewed by supervisory personnel.
When it is suspected that the force utilized was either excessive or unnecessary the Department initiates a further review of what transpired in the incident through an internal affairs investigation.
“It is extremely important that we take very seriously a situation where the use of force appears to be questionable,” Chief Craig Goodman stated in announcing this disciplinary action.
“After a detailed review, there is no question excessive and unnecessary force was used in apprehension of this female subject in this case,” Chief Goodman concluded.
“Training is an essential part of equipping an officer to do his or her job. That training includes how to properly utilize sufficient force to address a situation where force is necessary, but not to use unnecessary or excessive force. We take the matter of training very seriously,” Goodman added.
Brenham’s 35 person police force handles thousands of interactions with the public every year with very few cases involving the use of force, and even fewer of them requiring a follow up investigation.
The Department has a very good track record of properly using force and only uses it to the extent necessary to handle a situation, the Chief remarked.
Corporal Bobbitt has filed an appeal of his termination with the City’s administration and no additional information is being released at this time.