Thursday, June 03, 2010

Dallas Police Officer Indicted by Grand Jury for Oppression and Tampering with Police Report

Dallas police officer Daniel Babb was indicted yesterday by the Grand Jury, so he's officially facing criminal charges now.

Officer Babb expected this already -- he had turned himself in to authorities on May 24th. Today, Daniel Babb's already out on bail ($2500) and off the streets under administrative leave.

The Dallas Grand Jury charges Officer Babb with two things: official oppression and tampering with a government document.

How did the Dallas cop become a criminal defendant? This all started around two years ago, when a 14 year old was hurt as a man named Jorge Torres, 21, allegedly held the boy while another man hit him. After the dust settled, the boy tells the story that this was all "horseplay" that he himself began - but at the time of the incident, law enforcement had a different perception.

The cops were thinking a crime had occured: injury to a child.

According to the reports, Dallas police were called to a domestic disturbance. Once there, Officer Babb - on the job around two years at the time this is going down - told Jorge Torres he could stand up from the curb where he was sitting during questioning, because ants were crawling on Torres' hands.

Texas ants. We all know what they can do. So far, so good for Officer Babb.

What happens next, according the reports, is where things go haywire. In his police report, Officer Babb states that he "felt threatened" by Torres after Torres stood, so Babb "used a balance displacement technique." This "technique" made Torres fall backwards over the curb and onto the ground. No news on where the ants were.

Torres Suffered Minor Injuries From Officer Babb's Actions

The police reports confirm that Torres got some medical attention at the scene, so we know he suffer some kind of minor injury here. However, other cops at the scene also reported that Officer Babb lost his temper at Torres, and shoved him to the ground without just cause.

The public integrity unit investigated, and found that Officer Daniel Babb had used excessive force. They also ruled that he had fudged his police report about what had happened.

So, Officer Babb's three year career as a Dallas Police Officer is in question right now. Of course, he's still on the force (though he's not on the streets) and he's still got a defense to present.

What Happened to Torres?

Jorge Torres got three days in jail because he refused to give the police his name when all this went down. The injury to a child charges? Dropped. The 14-year-old boy told the police that he started the whole thing, he wasn't a victim here.

One lesson learned? When reading Dallas Police Department records, note that the definition of "balance displacement technique" is "shove."