Dallas PD Despite Sweeping Evidence of Assault Took Four Months to Arrest Accused Corporal

A WFAA News 8 report on newly surfaced videos of Dallas police who responded to a 911 call for sexual assault brings into question why it took four months for the arrest and firing of Senior Corporal Oscar Araiza.

Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rsnava/5800975333/, Creative Commons license

Credit: Ricardo S. Nava, Creative Commons license

The officers who responded to the scene on Oct. 7 last year describe the woman who made the call just minutes after leaving the corporal’s apartment as being distraught and physically wounded.

On the scene, the woman provided a detailed account of her encounter (which I won’t share here for the sake of sensitivity to sexual assault victims). Photos were taken to document her bruised arms and scratches to Corporal Araiza’s arms and neck. When a female officer was asked on video by investigators, she said she believed the assault took place.

With such disturbing evidence, why is it that the arrest and termination took until February, four months after the complaint? We may never know, but it furthers a trend within DPD to stall and cover up investigations into alleged officer misconduct.

Just last year, DPD admitted it botched a complaint by an officer who was transferred to an undesirable overnight shift after raising questions about a marijuana drug bust performed by members of a drug task force. A judge later ruled that the investigating officers had repeatedly lied in sworn testimony to the court about the investigation, which prompted a criminal investigation into the officers. First Assistant Chief Charlie Cato, the senior official who mishandled the complaint was moved to head a patrol station, and the officer who raised the concerns was left working the overnight shift.

The lessons seems to be that any officer who looks too closely into possible corruption or holds others on the force to same scrutiny as they would any other is slyly punished, while suspected perpetrators act with impunity.