ORANGE, Texas — Back in September 12News broke the story about a group of Orange police officers involved in a spanking incident.
According to a memo addressed to one of the officers obtained by 12News, the chief determined Officers Mulhollan, Casey, Roy and Kirkpatrick all violated department guidelines during the incident.
In the memo is a letter addressed to Major Robinson from Captain W.C Smith, outlining the events. It said the officers were called to an undisclosed area in reference to a juvenile problem.
"The 13 YOA juvenile in question runs away and had mental commitments for threats of harming herself ."
It goes on to say upon review of body camera videos, the juvenile was observed trying to run away from her mom, after she grabbed a belt, when Officer Casey grabbed her to stop her from running away. It continues by saying the officers held her next to a car while the mom spanked the girl with a belt, "which seemed to have no effect," the memo said.
That's when Officer Roy asked the mother if she wanted one of the officers to do it, and the mom verbally agreed. Officer Krikpatrick then spanked the girl three times with the same belt and released her.
"While I can find no policy violation and they had permission from the parent, I still do not believe that the police department should be involved in carrying out any discipline, under any circumstances, to anyone," Captain Smith said.
Orange police and city officials originally denied 12News' open records request for information about the case. It took a ruling from the Texas Attorney General's Office to force Orange to release the internal memos.
The documents showed the officers were place on paid internal administrative leave while an internal investigation was conducted.
Major Wade Robinson conducted the internal investigation, and found that the officers violated police department policies. The memo said Chief Lane Martin was in agreement with Robinson's findings.
The memo states the officers violated the following policies:
Policy 6.1: Officers are prohibited from using force as a means of punishment or interrogation.
By spanking and holding down the girl to be spanked, the officers violated the policy.
Policy 6.1, Section Five: Only departmental non-deadly force techniques and issued equipment can be used in certain situations.
It does not mention discipline as a form of non-deadly force, and the belt used was not issued equipment.
Policy 6.3: Outlines the approved non-lethal and less-lethal weapons. They include a baton, pepper spray, a less than lethal shotgun and a conducted energy device.
The officers violated this policy by holding down the girl, and then using the belt, which isn't a departmentally approved weapon.
The officers were suspended without pay for two days on October 29 and October 30. Three of the officers are appealing the suspension.