A veteran San Antonio police officer was indefinitely suspended in January following a racially-charged incident that occurred last summer involving arresting a young black man.
Officer Tim Garcia was recorded by his own body-camera using racial slurs during the arrest of 24-year-old Dewaxne Robinson at River Center Mall on July 14, 2018. The footage was recently obtained by KSAT’s investigative team, Raw Story reports.
READ MORE: Will Packer taps Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield to lead romcom ‘The Photograph’According to a police report, Robinson was detained by mall security who claimed he disturbed shoppers with his “aggressive” behavior. It also alleges he became “confrontational with mall patrons as they were walking by” including “using vulgar language” and “threatening patrons as they passed.”
Garcia and his partner were dispatched to the scene, and after asking for his ID, they reportedly threw Robinson to the ground and handcuffed him as they hurled racist slurs and roughed him up.
The police report, which was written by Garcia, stated Robinson “removed his ID from his wallet but refused to hand it to me … at that point we could see (Robinson) changing posture and begin to take an aggressive stance.”
Robinson asked why he was getting arrested and Garcia said, “For being a f***ed up n****.”
As Robinson continues to complain about being arrested, Garcia is heard saying, “You know what’s bulls***? The way you were raised is bulls***.”
Robinson then complains about his arm being twisted as he is being placed in handcuffs’ referring to Garcia as “n***a” several times, to which Garcia replies. “N****? Do I look like your n****? Say it right. Put an ‘r’ at the end. If you’re going to say it, don’t call me n****. I ain’t your n****.”
A department review of the incident concluded that Garcia acted inappropriately. San Antonio police Chief William McManus agreed with the board’s recommended indefinite suspension (in other words, termination).
“That was not reprimandable conduct by any means. Indefinitely suspending the officer was the only remedy to this particular situation,” McManus said in an interview. “That kind of behavior is not in accordance with our guiding principles. So the whole thing, from start to finish, right after start to finish, was just as wrong as wrong can be.”
When questioned about the incident by Internal Affairs investigators, Garcia defend his actions.
“I used similar language as a means of communicating my point. I repeated some of his language in order to speak a vernacular he would understand.
“In retrospect, I was wrong and should have refrained from stooping to his level.
“I usually take offense to such language, and I don’t stand for it. I did not use the word in a derogatory manner or use it in reference to anyone at the scene. Nobody has complained of the language, either,” Garcia said.