Rookie Officer Ramon Perez was fired from his position as an officer with the Austin Police Department for being “so impaired by his moral convictions that he is incapable of taking in and processing information – especially that which may be in conflict with his already-held beliefs. Perez is “defensive” and not able to take in “feedback” from supervisors, she wrote.”

Wow. So, what happened to cause this guy to get fired? Well, it seems that he refused to Taser an old and frail man for fear that it could send the man into cardiac arrest.

On Jan. 15, Perez responded to a domestic-violence call where he met a woman who said her husband had pushed her down and hurt her arms. While interviewing the woman outside her home, Perez said her husband came outside, keys and coffee in hand, and headed to his car in an attempt to leave. Perez told him to stop, he said, but before he could direct the man further, his backup, senior police Officer Robert Paranich “lunged” at the man from behind, causing the man to lose his balance. “I considered that an escalation of force,” Perez said, and not a controlled way to get the man under control with the least amount of force possible – as is required by APD policy. While the man struggled to regain his balance, Perez said Paranich ordered him to use his Taser on the man; Perez refused because the man wasn’t resisting arrest, and Perez was sure the man could be placed under arrest with lesser force. Additionally, Perez said, the man appeared to be in poor health and a likely candidate for a heart attack – two additional factors APD’s Taser policy asks officers to consider before using the weapon.

In the end, Perez and Paranich were able to get the man on the ground and in cuffs with no more force than soft-hand control, Perez said – a fact that proves the Taser was not needed: “If more force were necessary, then we wouldn’t be able to take him down,” he said at a press conference. “That means I did the constitutionally correct thing” and followed APD policy.

Not only did he follow Austin Police Department policy, he did the constitutionally correct thing. Uh oh… He was then transferred to night-shift and was again brought forth to his superiors for assessment after another soft-hand tactic.

Just two months later – shortly after Perez again questioned his supervisors, Lt. Daniel Zahara and Sgt. Jesse Brown, in this case about their apparent disapproval of his handling of a high-risk car stop in connection with APD Gang Suppression Unit detectives – Perez said Brown ordered him to report to APD psychologist Carol Logan for a meeting designed to help facilitate “better communication” between Perez and Brown. Perez said he was told the session with Logan would be spent practicing “word games” – a fact he said Logan confirmed – but that in fact, unbeknown to Perez, the meeting was intended as a fit-for-duty review, the outcome of which could bolster the supervisors’ desire to terminate Perez.

Officially, the reason they terminated the officer was based upon his job performance, yet the report from the APD psychologist was based almost entirely upon his religious and moral beliefs.

Indeed, Logan’s four-page report mentions nothing about word games and instead focuses almost entirely on Perez’s moral and religious beliefs, which Logan concludes are so strong they are an “impairment” to his ability to be a police officer.



  1. the Three-Headed Cat says:

    …and FYI: for those unfamiliar, it should be pointed out that Austin is, by far, the most liberal city in Texas – and some would say, possibly the most liberal city between the Mississippi and the Rockies…

    Seems that Officer Perez failed to wholeheartedly adopt the “Cops versus everybody else” mentality that permeates the upper management of most large American police departments like the cancer it is.

    Thoughtful, humane cops are not wanted by the authoriarian bastards who dominate and control police policies. So, expect tensions between police and citizens to continually be ratcheted up.

    Ain’t Amerika great?

  2. tallwookie says:

    I guess the real question is: How much of this shit can we put up with? The whole “use maximum force to protect the image of the police” just makes me sick.

    I hate cops (power-tripping arrogant scum) but this one actually did the right thing – which indicates that he wasnt really cut out to be a cop in the first place. I hope he gets a good job somewhere else (politics pserhaps?)

  3. Patriot says:

    Read the whole post, and don’t respond about the first paragraph – it’s a moot point if you respond about the first paragraph.

    I have an ongoing debate with a cop in a 3D game, on a server we both frequent. He’s anti-THC, I’m pro-THC. He wants to lock me up and throw away the key for sitting in my own home, ingesting THC. His argument is alcohol and THC cause many car accidents, so I respond with, “I’m sitting in a chair playing a video game, I’m no threat to anybody, so why can’t I do this?” He says, “It’s illegal.” I say, “Okay, why is this illegal, but alcohol is not?” He says, “I don’t want to talk about it…”

    When you ask an authoritarian to explain their reasoning, they don’t want to discuss it. They want to control you, based on what they believe, despite their total lack of knowledge or information on a subject. That’s why the first and foremost Amendment in the Constitution of the United States is Freedom of Speech.

    The Founding Fathers grew hemp. The Founding Fathers most likely smoked the hemp ‘byproducts’. This is why the government won’t decriminalize it. The fact is, they aren’t worried about our health; otherwise alcohol, tobacco, and especially high fructose corn syrup , would be banned in the US market. The fact is, THC (or marijuana’s) side effects include “rebelious” free thinking. You smoke it, you realize how much you’re getting screwed by government and the rich.

    Anyway, rant off. I appreciate the job that police do, but the kids I knew growing up, that became cops, were the kids who were persecuted as youth. I feel they took the job to get back at the world.

    Remember this: the problem isn’t the police officers, it’s the career politicians that write the laws, then live above the laws they wrote. The problem isn’t the courts, or the police – the problems stem from the Executive Branch and the Legislature.

  4. echeola says:

    This guy seems like the kinda guy you want as a cop. I was always taught that violence was a last resort. Well if he loses his job he should move to Madison WI. The cops here are really nice, understanding, intelligent and informed. They all have a working understanding of the constitution too!

  5. RTaylor says:

    This is simple. When you have to put your hand on an unrestrained suspect, there is a real chance you may get hurt. You also may get into a struggle for your weapon. Pepper spray is messy, and you have to deal with getting the crap on you, along with dealing with snot, spittle, and even vomit from the one you sprayed. Tasers are an easy take down, right or wrong. Being slapped on a pressure point with a nightstick or ASP doesn’t feel good either.

  6. Smartalix says:

    Cops have a tendency to abuse their authority because power corrupts. The problem is that police tactics and philosophies have migrated from protecting the public to controlling them. We are only a few steps away frmo a neo-fascist born-again totalitarian state where dissent and “thought crime” are punished as severely as other crimes.

  7. Mister Justin says:

    6,

    HR 1955. Thought crime legislation on the way!

  8. gmknobl says:

    Can anyone say Serpico? This is occurring more and more often in the news. Either it’s always been this bad or more likely, it’s both more frequent and more focused on by the sensationalistic news media (the major news media outlets are neo-con biased now but more than that and for the last 30 or so years, most media are biased towards sensationalism of any sort). However, I bet there is a) more to the story than this that may have influenced his termination and b) it’s true he has mentally warped superiors who fit into the overly authoritarian police stereotype. End result – he should not have been let go but raised up as an example of what a proper policeman should do, regardless of personal beliefs.

  9. Mr. Fusion says:

    #3, Patriot,

    bullshit arguments.

    The cop is correct. If it illegal to do, even in your own home, then it is illegal. The cop should only enforce the law, not make it. Would you use the same “in my own home” argument as a defense to cook your own meth? The cops position of not debating the law is also correct as that would place him in the position of using his own morals to enforce the law. Your argument is with those who make the law, not those who enforce it.

    Yes, many of the founding fathers grew hemp. Your error is in confusing hemp with marijuana. They are not the same. Hemp was grown to make cordage to tie the bales of cotton and tobacco. Smoking marijuana didn’t happen in America until early last century and didn’t become common outside Mexican immigrant workers circles until the 1930s / 40s when jazz musicians started using it.

  10. Mr. Fusion says:

    This lawsuit is a year old. I couldn’t find anything newer concerning what has happened since it was filed.

    Without having any proof, I think there may be more to this than is in the story. BTW, keep in mind the story is only from the complaining officer’s side.

    Regardless of the tazer incident, I wouldn’t want to have a cop with extreme moral convictions policing the streets. As I pointed out in #9, cops shouldn’t be the ones making the law. If the law says you can’t cook meth in your own home, we don’t need cops deciding the sanctity of the home means the cooker shouldn’t be harassed.

    A few years ago there was a State Trooper in Indiana who refused to accept an assignment at a casino because gambling conflicted with his religious beliefs. He asked to be reassigned and was refused. His firing was upheld at every stage. The Seventh Circuit wrote that police don’t have the option of deciding which morals apply. They are to uphold the law equally to everyone.

    If you are ever stopped by the police, just hope you DON’T get the cop who does have strong moral convictions against you for whatever reason.

  11. tallwookie says:

    #4 – and we know how much the politicians fear musicians, dont we? Musicians, being closer to the people & garnering more of their respect that ANY politician ever could, are always denigrated by the establishment.

  12. GetSmart says:

    #9 Hashish, ( Made from marijuana, if you don’t know.) was known in biblical Babylon. Weed has been around before the asshats running Amerika ever heard of it, and will be around long after Amerika has been forgotten. I don’t advocate using it, but I sure as hell don’t advocate what the ratbastards ( For they surely are!) are doing to people over it.

  13. Li says:

    I think we are missing the point here; this man was fired for -not- using unnecessary force. I say, unnecessary, because it turns out that they were able to restrain the subject without the use of any weapon, because he was a weak old man to begin with. Using an appropriate level of force used to be called ‘professionalism,’ but apparently after years of the blue line and their siege mentality, any action which does not scream ‘Respect my authorita!” is a firing offense, particularly if it involves free thought and basic human decency on the part of the officer.

    I think the fear that the admin is trying to beat into their officers is, essentially, “You must follow orders, even if they are illegal and unconstitutional.” But, of course, this is a violation of their oath of office, and speaks very poorly of the moral character of the Austin police force. What sort of illegal activity is being supported by this lawless attitude on the part of the lawmen? Indeed, it seems that this sort of ‘leadership’ is far more like that of a mafia than a properly run law enforcement agency.

    I’m glad I don’t live in Austin, and I feel sorry for the people who have to live under such a junta.

    In this case, the officers ‘extreme moral convictions’ seemed to be revolving around justice and compassion, and upholding his oath of office. We could all do better with more cops with those sort of ‘extreme’ beliefs.

  14. John Paradox says:

    3 – Patriot
    I have an ongoing debate with a cop in a 3D game, on a server we both frequent. He’s anti-THC, I’m pro-THC.

    Interesting read:
    Drug Warriors and Their Prey by Richard Lawrence Miller
    ISBN 0275950425

    I’ve argued for legalization for 30 years, have read research over that period and will still say there’s no (other than money for the ‘drug war’ and ‘moral superiority’) reason for Marijuana to be illegal.

    9
    Fusion

    The cop is correct. If it illegal to do, even in your own home, then it is illegal.

    Runs into the problem with courts agreeing that laws against sodomy performed in private cannot be enforced because of privacy.
    Yeah, it’s illegal, but there are laws still on the books for things like having to carry a lamp in front of an automobile to keep from scaring the horses.

    J/P=?

  15. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    #9 – Fusion – The cop is correct. If it illegal to do, even in your own home, then it is illegal. The cop should only enforce the law, not make it. Would you use the same “in my own home” argument as a defense to cook your own meth? The cops position of not debating the law is also correct as that would place him in the position of using his own morals to enforce the law. Your argument is with those who make the law, not those who enforce it.

    I totally disagree. We are entering into an age where we stand a good chance of seeing our civil liberties and privacy disappear and police powers will be increasing and increasingly used against the citizenry. This is the rise of nationalism and the beginning of the fall… unless something stems the tide.

    You would seem to be advocating in your argument that police be mindless automatons who blindly enforce every law no matter what that law is. We’ve seen parents prosecuted for creating child pornography after snapping a pic of their 4 year old playing in a bath tub. I think we are going to see people dragged away at night and questioned about what books they read, who they had coffee with, or what God they pray to. I want to be wrong, and I think I’ll only be right if cops are willing participants, turning off their brains, and becoming mindless thugs.

    Further, cops are not forbidden to have opinions or enter into civil discussions in their daily life. A cop can support marijuana legalization on his own time as long as he applies the law in the execution of his duty. And smart cops know that pot smokers are not a risk or a problem.

  16. Mister Mustard says:

    >>Remember this: the problem isn’t the police
    >>officers, it’s the career politicians that
    >>write the laws, then live above the laws they
    >>wrote.

    Naw. The politicians may be a problem, but they’re a DIFFERENT problem.

    The problem here is the bullying, cowardly, narcissistic, dishonest, self-serving fucks who use laws that may or may not be valid as an excuse to dominate the citizens they are supposed to serve and protect.

    I think any cop who uses a taser on somebody should have to take a shot himself; maybe in the head or in the balls. With increasing frequency, tasers are changing from an “alternative to deadly force” to a replacement for “hey you, stop that!” or as a way for needle-dicked schoolyard bullies to make themselves feel powerful.

  17. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    #16 – With increasing frequency, tasers are changing from an “alternative to deadly force” to a replacement for “hey you, stop that!”

    That’s just about as precise as you can say it.

  18. Phillep says:

    Politicians hire the boss cop and set policy. The cops that don’t follow policy get fired and more are hired until the force has the cops that suit the politicians.

    The politicians should be held responsible for every bad cop or every power tripping jerk on the force.

  19. Balbas says:

    #1: “Thoughtful, humane cops are not wanted by the authoriarian bastards who dominate and control police policies.”

    Bush & Co? Prescott Bush in the 1940’s paid good money to have the Nazis win; I’m always fascinated when people who despise our heavy-handed President forget this and wonder what’s going on.

  20. the Three-Headed Cat says:

    #19 – Philep

    “Politicians hire the boss cop and set policy. The cops that don’t follow policy get fired and more are hired until the force has the cops that suit the politicians.

    The politicians should be held responsible for every bad cop or every power tripping jerk on the force.”

    You’re talkin’ out your ass, son.

    The politicos set departmental priorities and such, but the day-to-day management, decision-making and hire-&-fire decision are made by police brass, old-fashioned, hard-boiled authoritarians. They are the ones whose fascistic attitudes control what goes and what doesn’t, they make sure that promotion and advancement only come to those cops who toe the line and play the game – their game.

    And that’s exactly what happened to Officer Perez. The local – liberal – politicos want a more modern, progressive police force, with more cops like Perez; the top dog cops ain’t gonna tolerate that pansy, commie bullshit. They’re gonna have take-charge he-men who know how to shut their mouths and follow orders; fuck what the Mayor or City Council wants.

    • Tazer Cop's ex wife says:

      I read all of your comments and responses and each of you has a some great points. However, the “Tazer COP” you are speaking of was a nightmare prior to becoming an APD COP, and still is to this day, of course speaking from my PERSONAL and highly experienced opinion. There are good cops and there are bad cops…But I will let you decide what I know already know to be true about that cop :):) ..it’s just my opinion though..but and educated one at that:)
      Officer Perez GOOD JOB..Bless your compassionate soul. When you stand before the Lord, Officer Perez, on your Judgment day…God will be pleased. The kingdom of heaven will embrace you.

  21. the Three-Headed Cat says:

    …oh, and I forgot to mention – fuck what the citizens want, too. Especially the citizens, those dirtbags who are the Real Cop’s enemy…

    THAT’s the attitude that has to be overcome, and only by cleaning house of those corrupt Nazi dinosaurs can it happen. But guess what? It ain’t gonna happen, because those same old warhouse cops have accumulated dirt on everybody over the years, especially everybody who might otherwise be inclined to clean house. After all, that’s how they rose to where they are today.

    Now you know why those attitudes don’t change, and why they’re not gonna change, either.

  22. Iam Rbrooks says:

    #10 I wouldn’t want to have a cop with extreme moral convictions policing the streets.

    Really? Just “follow orders”? Taking it to the ridiculous (to make the point), ever hear of Nuremberg? Moral convictions are exactly what public servants like police officers should have.

  23. Mr. Fusion says:

    #15, OFTLO,

    You missed my point. The police enforce the law, the courts decide the law.

    We’ve seen parents prosecuted for creating child pornography after snapping a pic of their 4 year old playing in a bath tub.

    Would you care to point me to such a case? Child pornography, as with most laws, also include mens rea, or intent. If there are several photos of the child in various nude poses besides in the tub, then the charge of pornography may be upheld. If that is the only nude photo among many clothed pictures, then there is no intent and no cop or prosecutor would touch it.

    Further, cops are not forbidden to have opinions or enter into civil discussions in their daily life. A cop can support marijuana legalization on his own time as long as he applies the law in the execution of his duty.

    Very true and they should have their own opinions. But they shouldn’t let those opinions interfere with their job. If a cop get assigned to guard an Abortion Clinic, yet his beliefs are strongly anti-abortion, would you want the cop to follow his conscience or his oath? If the cop doesn’t have enough evidence may he torture a prisoner to extract a confession because he believes the accused is guilty?

    Police must follow the law even when the law is wrong. They cannot be both the enforcers as well as the arbitrators.

  24. the Three-Headed Cat says:

    Let me tell you something, Fusilade, in case you did not come across my post elsewhere on this very matter:

    Cops not only can, but do – every officer on the street, every single work day – decide for themselves which violations of law to take official notice of and which to ignore.

    In the course of duty, a police officer in modern, urban America, witnesses an endless, continual stream of violations. She or he cannot possibly intervene in but a fraction of the violations they witness, and therefore must exercise informed discretion in setting priorities. The Supreme Court has ruled affirmatively that this is the case.

    So let’s not hear any more nonsense about cops’ inability to ignore infractions and violations they don’t deem important enough to pursue. They do it all the time and they are expected to do so.

  25. cops = cowards, media = whores (and their supporters)
    Watch and respond to this, please. See if your experience prepares
    you for it. You may have trouble watching all 5 parts in correct
    sequence. – John Boanerges

    From: Contempt-R-US (28 seconds) : The Killing of Fouad Kaady – In the
    early afternoon of September 8, 2005, police encountered Fouad Kaady
    shortly after he was in an accident that left him in shock and bleeding,
    burned over much of his body. Rather than calling for medical help, the
    police commanded him to lie on the pavement, even though they could see
    the burned flesh hanging from his body, and even though they said he
    appeared to be “in a catatonic state.” When he did not comply with their
    orders, but instead continued to sit on the ground in a daze, they
    tasered him repeatedly. And then, they shot him to death.

    Gut wrenching… incompetence beyond comprehension. Tasers are only
    part of the issue quite obviously.
    http://www.videosif t.com/video/ Cops-shoot- burnt-injured- man-who-crawled- from-burning- wreck

  26. Ihate Austin PD says:

    I would have to agree that Austi PD suks. They have no compassion, they are rude and would it hurt to ask someone how they are before starting to write the ticket. I dont know ,,maybe just maybe give a guy a break and ask what the reason for their speed? Who know maybe they just found out that someone died or better yet they just found out that there daughter might die…..Hey ART have a Heart, teach compassion not ticket ticket ticket…or are you gunning for a raise?


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