RANCHO CORDOVA(CBS13) — It’s the scuffle that went viral. A former Rancho Cordova Police Officer, now identified as Brian Fowell, was seen on cell phone video pinning and punching a young boy.
The incident prompted an internal investigation and the department’s police chief to turn to social media, announcing an investigation into what happened. That was back in April. Now, months later, the officer is out of a job after being fired for excessive use of force.
The Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff’s Association says it doesn’t agree with the officer’s termination.
Below is a statement from the association:
“Our Association is not in agreement with the termination of Deputy Fowell. The video footage that went viral shows only a brief portion of an event. Following this event, the subject of the call made the following statement to the media, directed at Deputy Fowell: “Sir, I’m sorry for the way that I acted towards you and for not cooperating. And I just hope that we could meet again and be on better terms,” and added that Deputy Fowell was “just doing his job.”
This law enforcement interaction did not rise to the level of termination. It is the latest example of public outcry being allowed to drown out facts from being heard. We will continue to advocate for Deputy Fowell, and have requested arbitration on his behalf.”
Meantime, Tanya Faison with Black Lives Matter Sacramento says charges should be filed.
“I know that they should and I don’t know all the legal avenues,” said Faison.
CBS13 went to attorney Mark Reichel for answers.
He says in order for that to happen the sheriff’s office would have to forward their report to the district attorney’s office, but even then, he says, the process would be difficult.
“It’s one thing to charge but it’s a different thing to get a conviction and it’s very difficult as we all know to actually get a conviction of an officer engaged in the performance of their duties who may have committed a crime, specifically excessive force,” Reichel said.
Faison says the officers firing is a step towards justice.
“There is more in the works but we are definitely really happy about what happened. We think this is a win,” she said.
CBS13 did ask internal affairs the last time an officer was fired for excessive use of force. We were told they only keep those records for five years and in that time frame, they did not find any termination comparable but have had several other firings in general.