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Lubbock City Council Recognizes Board Members, Discusses Pending Litigation

Cole Shooter, KFYO.com

At their meeting this week, the Lubbock City Council recognized new appointees to local boards and committees.

Carroll McDonald, Marc McDougal, and Robert Musselman have been appointed to the Electric Utility Board. Jim Burkhart will serve on the Airport Board, Eddie Harris has been named to the Appointments Advisory Board, and Jim Gatteys will serve on the Keep Lubbock Beautiful Advisory Committee.

Also appointed were Cecile Garcia, who will serve on the Permit License and Appeal Board, and Margie Jefferson has been appointed to the Public Transit Advisory Board.

During executive session, the council was scheduled to discuss an arbitrator’s ruling that the firing of a Lubbock police officer due to excessive force was improper. Former LPD officer Christopher Hennsley was fired following several violations the department deemed as excessive force.

During the traffic stop incident which resulted in Hennsley’s dismissal, he reportedly kicked the driver of the vehicle in the ribs without allowing the person time to comply with his request, busted out a window of the vehicle, and while tazing one passenger of the vehicle three times, also accidently tazed another officer that was on scene.

Hennsley had previously received a 3-day suspension for excessive force in 2002 as well.

The arbitrator ruled that Hennsley should have received a 15-day suspension, and is entitled to his position back with the Lubbock Police Department with back pay.

The Council has the option to appeal the arbitrator’s ruling or accept it, and restore Hennsley to his former position.

Lubbock County Detention Center

The Council also further discussed the matter of Willie Williams behind closed doors as well.

The 90-year-old Williams was wounded while exchanging fire with Lubbock Police, as he believed that someone was breaking into his apartment on September 25th. Police had responded to a burglary call in apartment 8 at the Parkridge Place Apartments, located in the 5300 block of 51st Street. Police had mistakenly gone to the window of Williams’ apartment next door. Windows to both apartments had been broken out, and as the police went up to the window, Williams began to shoot, and officers returned fire.

Williams was shot in the chest, and was treated at University Medical Center and released. One of the two responding officers suffered minor wounds from flying glass due to Williams’ gunfire. Williams had been charged with two counts of Aggravated Assault Against a Public Servant, but a Lubbock County grand jury chose not to indict him.

Also considered by the council during executive session were customer billing and electric power pricing for Lubbock Power and Light.

No public announcements were made by the council regarding any decisions made during the executive session.

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