Nine Texas cops were fired after a routine audit earlier this year exposed they lied about the number of traffic stops they made in order to boost the results of their performance on their department’s annual racial-profiling report.
The Arlington Police Department made the announcement late Friday, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
An attorney for two of the fired cops say they were merely trying to meet the department’s quota for writing tickets, which would be illegal under state law.
Discrepancies in their reports came to the attention of department officials after they attempted to view dash cam footage of the stops, which they later found did not exist.
That’s because they never happened.
In May, fifteen officers were placed on paid leave as the department conducted an internal affairs investigation into the revelation; an additional officer joined the accused shortly after.
The internal affairs investigation started in May this year after Arlington police officials detected suspicious reporting of traffic stops as they conducted routine supervisory audits of its patrol divisions’ traffic stops.
It concluded the officers – all who were assigned to the patrol division – reported they had made traffic stops that were actually never conducted.
Officers made the false reports on their in-car computers entering traffic stops at a particular address that never took place.
Supervisors were tipped off after the same vehicle was used for several stops.
The terminated officers were found guilty by department officials of conduct unbecoming of a police officer for tampering with government records and lying about traffic stop reports, although they have the right to appeal the decision.
A Tarrant County District Attorney will decide if future criminal charges will be filed against the nine fired officers.
Two of the fired cops are accused of lying to internal affairs investigators about tampering with the traffic stop reports.
Three officers resigned before results of the investigation were completed while four others remain under investigation.
Randy Moore, an attorney who represents two of the fired cops, said his clients were pressured to makes stops and write tickets for the Arlington Police Department’s traffic ticket quota.
All nine of the fired cops are members of the police union Arlington Municipal Patrolman’s Association.
Officers are required to include in their report driver demographics, the reason behind the traffic stop, whether an arrest was made and whether a search was conducted during the stop.
That data is compiled for the department’s annual racial-profiling report.