Officer accused of using excessive force

BAYTOWN, TX [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

On December 4, the Harris County District Attorney's Office accepted one count of Official Oppression against Baytown Police Officer Jon Kevin Fitzgerald. This class "A" misdemeanor charge was the result of an internal affairs investigation into allegations that Officer Fitzgerald used excessive force during a November 13, 2008 arrest of motorist Ryan Sanders. Mr. Sanders is a 24-year-old maintenance worker residing in Baytown.

The Harris County District Attorney's Office, Police Integrity Division, found probable cause to believe that Officer Fitzgerald's actions were excessive and filed charges in the 262nd District Court.

Baytown Police Chief Keith Dougherty has issued the following statement: "Officer Fitzgerald has been charged with one count of Official Oppression, a Class "A" Misdemeanor under the Texas Penal Code Section 39.03. Based upon the criminal charge filed against him, I have suspended him without pay pursuant to the Texas Civil Service Act. We as police officers have taken a solemn oath to serve and protect the citizens of our community. I want to reassure the public that this administration will never tolerate misconduct or excessive force against any person."

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