RANCHO CORDOVA (CBS13) — The Rancho Cordova officer who punched a 14-year-old earlier this year has been fired.
As first reported by the Sacramento Bee, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the officer was terminated this week. Officials said the eight-year veteran of the department was on paid administrative leave during the internal investigation.
In April, a video of the officer attacking a child on the ground went viral. The scuffle happened on April 27 after, authorities say, the officer witnessed the 14-year-old take a tobacco product from an adult. When questioned, the sheriff’s office claims the boy refused to cooperate, lied about his age, and resisted physically.
That’s apparently when the physical altercation happened.
WARNING: This video of a @RanchoCordovaPD officer beating a 14-year-old is sickening, and demands immediate action.
How many of these videos must we see before we do something about police violence in this country? pic.twitter.com/C7oIrz0v1c
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) April 28, 2020
After video of the incident went viral, Senator Kamala Harris called it a “horrific abuse of power.”
At the time, Rancho Cordova Police Chief Kate Adams said the boy has expressed remorse and wanted to meet with the officer. It’s unclear if that meeting ever happened.
“It is heartening to me that on both sides, with the young man and the officer, there is a desire to listen to each other and understand how the situation could have been different,” Adams said in a video posted to YouTube in April.
The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department said the officer did not return to work after the incident.
The Sacramento County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association said in a statement that it did not agree with the officer’s termination. The association said:
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.”