Claire Z. Cardona
Dallas’ interim police Chief David Pughes on Wednesday terminated four employees, including an officer charged in a deadly shooting and a 911 call taker.
Officer Christopher Hess is among those who were fired at the hearing. Hess reportedly violated the department’s felony traffic stop policy, use of deadly force policy and placed a person in greater danger than necessary, police said.
Hess was charged last month in the January fatal shooting of 21-year-old Genevive Dawes. Officials said Hess and a second officer responded to a call in Old East Dallas that involved a reportedly stolen vehicle.
When officers showed up, Dawes backed up into their squad car with the vehicle and drove forward into a fence. When she reversed again, officers fired into the vehicle, police said.
A federal wrongful-death lawsuit filed against the city claims that Dawes bought the car a month before the shooting and refutes accounts that she rammed the patrol car.
The suit also says Hess and the other officer fired at least 13 shots into the passenger window, striking Dawes in the neck, right triceps, left arm, chest, right forearm and right earlobe.
Hess has been charged with aggravated assault. The other officer was placed on restricted duty.
Hess was hired in August 2006 and was assigned to the central patrol division.
Also terminated Wednesday was Sr. Cpl. Keith Huber, who was involved in a disturbance on May 11, 2016, in which Midlothian police were called.
In December, Huber was arrested on a charge from September of injury to a child with intent to cause bodily injury. He is accused of beating the child who was younger than 14 with a surge protector, WFAA-TV (Channel 8) reported.
An investigation also showed Huber violated the administrative leave policy from Dec. 22 to Dec. 28, police said.
Huber, a 16-year veteran of the department, was assigned to the central patrol division.
Pughes also terminated Officer Holly Carter, a three-year veteran of the department who was involved in an auto accident in September in Lancaster and failed to stop and render aid. Instead, she reportedly went to a nearby gas station to check on her vehicle, WFAA reported.
The investigation also found that in December, Carter provided inconsistent or misleading information in an internal statement.
Carter had been assigned to the southeast patrol division.
Tony Marzett, a 911 call taker, was also terminated Wednesday. He was indicted by a Dallas County grand jury in April on a charge of aggravated assault causing severe bodily injury for a incident on New Year’s Eve at an Irving Walgreens.
Marzett reportedly started yelling at a woman for taking too long to get out of her vehicle. He then pushed the woman to the ground and punched her in the face when she stood back up, according to court documents. The woman fell backwards, breaking her arm in two places.
Marzett, who was hired in March 2008, admitted in an interview to hitting the woman in the face.
The four employees have the right to appeal.