Melvin Williams: Dallas cop fired for using 'excessive force', punching man at Deep Ellum
Williams, who had been on the force since 2006, has a right to appeal his termination under civil-service rules
DALLAS, TEXAS: Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia fired an officer on Tuesday, January 25 who had been under investigation for using excessive force during an arrest in Deep Ellum in July 2021. The officer was placed on paid administrative leave and also faces a criminal charge in connection with the case.
When Deep Ellum brawl happened, the police officer Williams was already under two use-of-force investigations that stemmed from Dallas protests after a Minneapolis police officer murdered George Floyd in May 2020.
Wild scene in Deep Ellum last week pic.twitter.com/YJXg7y41HY— Dallas Texas TV (@DallasTexasTV) July 28, 2021
The viral video of the incident showed Williams and other officers trying to break up a brawl near Elm Street and Malcolm X Boulevard. Williams is seen telling a man to move away from the officers detaining people. While pushing the man away, Williams says, "Back up, back up, back your ass up". "Get off the street." The video also shows the police officer shoving the man into a post before straddling and punching him several times. Later, two officers pull Williams away from the man.
Dallas police placed Williams on paid administrative leave and launched an internal investigation about two weeks after the incident. He is currently assigned to the Tactical and Special Operations Bureau. Dallas Police Chief García decided on Williams’ disciplinary action, a department spokesman said. García declined to elaborate, saying his decision "speaks for itself." Robert Rogers, Williams' attorney, said his client was placed in a difficult situation trying up to break up the brawl. "He used lawful force in dealing with a combative suspect," Rogers said in a written statement. "I look forward to clearing his name through the judicial and civil appeal process."
Who is Melvin Williams?
Williams, a SWAT officer, has been on the force since 2006 and has a right to appeal his termination under civil-service rules. However, the cop also has a history of use-of-force complaints against him.
Doyle, an aspiring photojournalist, was shot with a 40 mm less-lethal launcher which has left him with only 40% vision in his left eye and smashed his cheekbone as per the court documents. The grand jury declined to indict Williams on an allegation that he used excessive force and shot Vincent Doyle. Despite the judgment, Dallas County District Attorney, John Creuzot’s office filed a misdemeanor assault charge against Williams in connection with Doyle’s case in December 2021.
Apart from the Doyle's case, Williams was also investigated in a second incident from the 2020 demonstrations that hasn’t gone before a grand jury. Williams was one of the three officers who was accused of using excessive force on Brandon Saenz. Due to the less-lethal ammunition used by the police, Saenz lost an eye and seven teeth, and the left side of his face was fractured. Attorney Daryl Washington, who represents Doyle and Saenz, said on Tuesday, January 25, that the decision to fire Williams should’ve been made sooner given the evidence that the city and the police department had. He said, "We know had the city of Dallas and the Dallas Police Department done something sooner, the incident in Deep Ellum would’ve never happened."