FORT WORTH – On Tuesday, April 16, 2019, the Fort Worth Police Officers Association attacked the termination of a rookie officer, who fired her weapon at an escaping felon’s vehicle and blamed the chief of expediting an investigation, so the officer could not appeal.
Chief Joel Fitzgerald fired rookie officer Lina Mino on Friday, April 12th.
“This termination will serve no other purpose than to send a message throughout out police department than hard work and integrity do not outweigh political expediency,” said Sgt. Manny Ramirez, president of the Fort Worth Police Officers Association.
Mino was fired just seven hours before her one-year probationary period was over, losing her the right to appeal the termination. According to Ramirez, since she was still in her probationary period she does not have the right to appeal.
Ramirez also stated that while most internal investigations take about ninety days, Mino was released from duty after five days.
On April 7th Mino pulled over a vehicle in North Fort Worth and discovered the driver was wanted on a felony warrant. Mino fired her weapon as the driver fled the scene, the driver ran into a nearby residence and the family inside the home and to safety.
A loaded weapon was discovered in the car and the driver was arrested, “In any other circumstances Officer Mino would have been issued a commendation,” Ramirez said.
Department policy was violated by accidentally shooting at an escaping vehicle, stated Ramirez.
Ramirez declined to comment on what he thinks what an appropriate punishment would be, but he did state the process is unfair because the officer was unable to appeal.
Chief Fitzgerald did not immediately respond to Ramirez’s comments.
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