Dallas officer terminated after failing to help driver in fiery crash following brief chase
A Dallas officer has been fired and another was suspended after an incident in May in which the two failed to help a driver who got into a fiery crash following a brief chase, according to police.
Dallas police on Wednesday announced the firing of Senior Cpl. Leonard Anderson and the 30-day suspension of Darrien Robertson, whom Anderson was training at the time.
Police Chief Eddie Garcia said he was "embarrassed" and "outraged" by the officers' actions on May 13, when the incident occurred.
Dash camera video obtained by WFAA showed the two Dallas officers spotting a vehicle leaving a convenience store with its headlights off. The officers turned on their lights and siren and attempted to pull over the vehicle in question.
The driver did not stop and proceeded to take off at a high rate of speed, leading to a brief chase, according to police. However, per department policy, the officers quickly broke off the pursuit because the driver wasn't wanted for, or being pulled over for, a violent felony offense.
The issue happened immediately after the officers turned off their lights.
The dash camera video from the officers' car showed the vehicle they were chasing along Martin Luther King Boulevard jump a curb and crash on the side of the road.
Additional security video showed that the driver blew through a stop sign and swerved to avoid a pedestrian before losing control.
Nineteen seconds later, that same security video showed the officers' car approach the intersection where the crash happened and leave the scene.
Other people who witnessed the crash helped rescue the driver after the vehicle became engulfed in flames, according to police.
The Dallas Police Department also acknowledged that the two officers did not stop to help the crash victim.
Through audio from the officers' dash camera video, Anderson and Robertson can be heard talking to each other about the crash. Anderson was driving at the time.
"Did you see that?" Robertson asked.
"That's his fault," Anderson replied.
When addressing the incident nearly two weeks later, Garcia said the two officers returned to the crash scene after they learned the vehicle had caught fire.
Body camera footage obtained by WFAA showed the officers arriving at the scene and asking a group of people nearby about the victim.
The group was angry and aware that officers had been chasing the victim prior to the crash.
"They were chasing him when he hit the tree, and they turned their lights off and turned," one of the people told the officers.
Dallas Fire-Rescue also responded and offered CPR to the victim. The victim survived but details on any injuries were not released.
Chief Garcia said he was appalled by the officers' actions and commended the civilians who helped the crash victim.
"I'm embarrassed for the men and women of this department," Garcia said. "This is not what we stand for."
"Those citizens did an admirable job -- and did a job that our officers should have done," the chief added.
Garcia said the officers likely wouldn't face criminal charges for the incident.
The officers were placed on administrative leave in May, and about six months later, they received their discipline following a disciplinary hearing with Garcia on Wednesday.