Lubbock City Councilman Victor Hernandez Calls for Expanded DOJ Investigation into Lubbock Police Department
Tuesday evening, District 1 Lubbock City Councilman Victor Hernandez (pictured) called for an expanded investigation into the Lubbock Police Department. The Department of Justice has recently investigated LPD concerning allegations of discrimination into hiring practices.
Now, LPD is entangled into additional controversy with a recent change at police chief and an allegation of an arrest record being destroyed after an open records request was made.
Current interim police chief, Jerry Brewer, was supposed to be confirmed by the Lubbock City Council at their July 9 meeting. However, the absences of Councilman Hernandez and Councilman Floyd Price delayed the vote to the July 23 meeting.
Councilman Hernandez's complete statement can be read below:
CITY COUNCILMAN VICTOR HERNANDEZ NOT IN FAVOR OF BREWER AS INTERIM POLICE CHIEF, IN FAVOR OF ASKING U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO EXPAND ITS' INVESTIGATION
"The citizens of Lubbock deserve a police department that is free of suspicion in the way it handles criminal investigations and its' personnel decisions. The men and women of the Lubbock Police Department deserve to be part of an organization that the public deems credible and reliable," according to Councilman Hernandez.
Councilman Hernandez continued, "The criminal investigations involving Mark Anthony Ysasaga, Zoe Campos, Glen Robertson and others; as well as the "demotion" of Police Chief Roger Ellis, the reassignment of Assistant Chief James Shavers from investigations to patrol, and the current investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division (which accuses the City of Lubbock of discriminatory hiring practices) are but a few of the issues which have surfaced recently. In addition, complaints filed with the police department's internal affairs department as well as the City of Lubbock's human resources department are bringing into question whether or not the Lubbock Police Department can investigate itself."
"As such, I think it prudent to hire as Interim Police Chief, a person that is currently outside of the current command and control staff. It is for these reasons that I cannot support the City Manager's choice," stated Hernandez.
Councilman Hernandez continued, "In addition, I believe the Lubbock Police Department's protocols and past actions, need to be reviewed by an outside agency in order to ferret out all issues, singular or systemic, which have led us to this point."
"Of paramount importance to me, is that the citizens of Lubbock regain the confidence in their police department. In order to achieve this goal, the City of Lubbock must be transparent. Equally important, the City of Lubbock needs to promptly identify all problem areas, find solutions that can be implemented quickly and hopefully, start the process of rebuilding the public's trust," stated Hernandez.