Police Officer Involved in Shooting Suspended Three Times in Three Years
POSTED: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - 4:31pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - 2:27pm
New information is surfacing about Officer Jorge Gonzalez, who shot and wounded a man following a traffic accident earlier this month.
In October 2007, Officer Gonzalez was suspended for 52 hours. According to police documents obtained by the El Paso Times, Gonzalez used unauthorized and inappropriate detention and restraint tactics on a juvenile he stopped for questioning outside a West El Paso fast food restaurant. When the juvenile failed to produce identification the report says Gonzalez handcuffed him.
Dash cam video showed Gonzalez pushing the juvenile "...down on the hood of the police car with such force that his baseball cap is seen flying off his head."
In April 2008, Gonzalez was suspended again, this time for 2 days. The report says a high school student felt he was being racially profiled by Gonzalez when he was questioned outside Austin High School. Gonzalez repeatedly asked the student, who was wearing a blue shirt and "doo rag" if he was a member of the Crip gang.
The student said no and Gonzalez responded, "don't take this the wrong way this is not what is sounds like, but if people were to see you walking down the street dressed in blue, and not that it matters, and you're black what are they going to think?"
Most recently, in January 2009, Gonzalez was suspended for 80 hours for violating protocol again.Gonzalez cited a man for speeding who said he was on his way to his business after the burglar alarm went off. After giving the man a ticket for speeding, the report says Gonzalez followed him to his business to see if a burglary was unfolding but did not immediately call for backup. Gonzalez "did not exhibit any sense of urgency in calling for back up assistance."
Earlier this month Jorge Gonzalez and another officer, Michelle Gonzalez, were off duty when the SUV they were in was rear ended by 20-year-old Andres Cortez at the intersection of Gateway West and Yarbrough. Police say Cortez tried to speed away from the scene but hit Michelle Gonzalez, pinning her under the car. Police say Jorge Gonzalez shot Cortez in the neck because he thought it looked like Cortez was going to hit Michelle Gonzalez a second time.
NewsChannel 9 has learned Cortez's record isn't perfect either. He's been convicted of drug possession and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
Cortez is still in the hospital, reportedly paralyzed. An investigation into the shooting continues.