Fort Worth Police Association Speaking Out Against Officer’s Firing

Andrew Greenstein
April 16, 2019 - 12:46 pm
 Fort Worth Police Officers Association

Credit: Andrew Greenstein, 1080 KRLD

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FORT WORTH (1080 KRLD) - The Fort Worth Police Officers Association is taking exception to the firing of an officer last Friday.

On Sunday, April 7th, Ofc. Lina Mino stopped two men and learned that the driver had and felony warrant.

The driver revved the engine and fled Ofc. Mino.

“The driver turned his tires and pulled off quickly, which in the heat of the moment startled Ofc. Mino, and she fired a round from her service weapon,” says Sgt. Manny Ramirez, the president of the Fort Worth Police Officers Association. “She struck the vehicle but did not strike any passengers, (did) not injure any person, and there was no damage done.”

The two men were eventually taken into custody.

Ramirez says Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald unilaterally made the decision to fire Mino after what he calls a hasty investigation that would normally take a lot longer.

“The chief of police determined in five days, after a rushed and incomplete investigation, that officer Mino's alleged violations of department policy warranted the termination of her employment.”

Ramirez says the firing is unjustified.

“No one was hurt. No one was injured and a wanted felon was taken into custody,” Ramirez says.

Mino was just seven hours away from completing one year of service time when she was fired.

“With one year of service, she would have obtained the right to appeal her (termination) and a right to due process review by someone other than the chief of police,” says Ramirez.

Ramirez says the firing sends the wrong message to rank-and-file officers.

“This termination will serve no other purpose than to send a message throughout our police department that hard work and integrity do not outweigh political expediency,” Ramirez says.

Fort Worth Police Chief Fitzgerald says in a statement that Ofc. Mino failed to adhere to department policy when she fired her duty weapon.

“The Fort Worth Police Department has an established policy prohibiting officers from employing deadly force by shooting into vehicles unless the vehicle poses an immediate threat to that officer (or someone else),” Fitzgerald says in his statement. “In this instance, the vehicle slowly drove away from the officer and posed no immediate threat to the officer.”

Fitzgerald’s and Ramirez’s assertion on the rate in which the suspect drove off appear to contradict one another.

Ramirez says the driver “turned his tires and pulled off quickly,” while Fitzgerald says the driver “slowly drove away.”