A Texas cop, who was fired in October 2016 for giving a Black homeless man a sandwich filled with dog feces, has won an appeal which reverses his termination. An arbitrator overturned the dismissal and that action has caused a storm of outrage across social media.
Bike patrol Officer Matthew Luckhurst’s won his job back on a technicality. A provision in a local statute states that an officer can’t be disciplined for misconduct if the act occurred more than six months prior. Arbitration documents indicated that Luckhurst testified the incident occurred on May 6, 2016, when he and a couple of officers on bike patrol were clearing homeless people from a parking lot in San Antonio, Texas.
You can read the arbitration findings here.
Witnesses claim the Texas cop picked up dog feces, placed it on a slice of bread and placed the “sandwich” in a Styrofoam container, which contained half-eaten food, provided by a local religious group who provided meals for the homeless in the city.
He then placed the container next to a sleeping homeless man who would wake up and pick up the container to possibly eat the contents.
Luckhurst’s account was way more benign. He stated he noticed dog feces along with condoms, vomit, a slice of bread and personal hygiene products. He, then, claims he grabbed the dog feces with the piece of bread to avoid stepping on it and placed the feces, wrapped in the bread, into a nearby food container, which he said he viewed as garbage.
According to reports, Officer Matthew Luckhurst found two old slices of bread lying on the ground, picked them up, and put dog feces on them. He then put the sandwich in a styrofoam container and placed it next to a sleeping homeless man, as though it was an actual meal.
— DREW (@drew4711700) March 26, 2019
He also never indicated that the man had been sleeping when he left the container “in close proximity” to a transient who did not leave and that the man picked up the container with the feces and threw it on the ground after smelling it.
Another officer, supposedly, said: “You can’t be doing that. You have to go pick that up.” The officer told authorities Luckhurst biked back to the area, returned and said he had disposed of the container.
The fact that Luckhurst put “trash” next to a sleeping man for him to discard only for the Texas cop to go back and throw it away after the fact is not only completely illogical but it’s indicative that he isn’t telling the truth.
San Antonio Police Officer Matthew Luckhurst represents the caliber of ppl hired as law enforcement. Disgusting. Why should we trust & respect ppl like this? #ameriKKKa #WhitePrivilege https://t.co/Qw9wYQ58zw
— The Original (@TheOriginalMCs) March 26, 2019
An important detail to mention is San Antonio Police officers have been wearing body cameras while on duty since early 2016 but according to the report, there’s no footage of the incident. Not only did Luckhurst’s commanding officer, Sgt. Michael Riggs, not find body-worn camera video of the incident but officers could not find the man the victim. It has also been implied that Internal Affairs investigators “had (the) ability to corroborate testimony by means of having the video tape preserved and reviewed” but didn’t.
He was notified of his dismissal on October 28 of that year which fell within the 180-day window if the incident happened in May as originally believed, but the officer reviewed his medical records and challenged the ruling.
The timeline is what got him another chance as a cop although he still faces losing his job again over another situation involving feces.
“This has taught me to stop acting childish and making stupid, baseless jokes,” Luckhurst wrote during the investigation. “I need to stop the pranks and juvenile jokes to get arise (sic) or reaction from fellow officers and friends.”
Although it may seem like a cruel joke versus a dangerous situation, dog feces is actually harmful to human beings especially if consumed. And considering Luckhurst’s track record with excrement, he doesn’t need to be a cop. It appears that he is interested in causing more harm than good to the people he is paid to protect.