Four Dallas Police officers were fired on Monday by Chief David Brown, including an officer who shot an unarmed man.
Officer Amy Wilburn was fired by Brown for "firing her weapon upon an unarmed person without fear or justification."
Dallas Police were pursuing a hijacked vehicle after 3 p.m. on Monday Dec. 9 when the driver slowed down, opened the driver's side door and began to run away, despite officers shouting not to.
Wilburn, according to police, approached the car as it continued to move slowly forward. Wilburn came up to the car to stop it from moving when she saw Kelvion Walker, 19, in the front passenger seat.
Wilburn perceived Walker to be a threat, drew her weapon and fired it. Walker was subsequently hospitalized and told FOX4 he had nothing to do with the carjacking incident. Walker is now out of the hospital, but still has several health issues due to his injuries, according to his attorney.
An independent eyewitness who saw the shooting told police Walker was reclined in the front passenger seat and appeared to be holding both hands up when the shooting took place. Police said no weapon was found at the scene.
"I hope the police department made this determination based on good faith evaluation and the credibility of Officer Wilburn and these two witnesses," said Geoff Henley, Walker's attorney.
The attorney for Wilburn said the termination creates a dangerous conflict where officers are unclear about when it's justified to use their weapons.
"Officer Amy Wilburn was doing her job that day," said Robert Rogers, Wilburn's attorney.
Additionally, Wilburn's firing has angered the Dallas Police Association, which is vigorously defending her actions.
The DPA, the largest group representing police officers, says Wilburn's firing will have a chilling effect, and that it jeopardizes the safety of Dallas Police officers and the public.
"This firing is going to jeopardize the safety of the citizens of Dallas and all Dallas Police officers," said Ron Pinkston, President of the DPA.
Pinkston and Rogers say Wilburn was assisting in a chase with a carjacker who'd fired a weapon, and that when the driver bailed, she had no idea another suspect was in the car.
"She approached a moving vehicle; made a split-second decision because she was afraid," said Rogers. "She was in fear of her life."
After seeing dash cam video, Rogers and Pinkston also dispute the eyewitness testimony of the civilian witness.
"He was driving in reverse," said Pinkston. "He was talking on the phone. He was watching the officers run, chase the other guy. And he's seeing everything happen inside the vehicle. I don't think…it's not possible."
"We're going to get her job back," said Rogers. "We're going to get her back pay back."
According to a statement posted on the police department's Facebook page, Officer Wilburn had her gun holstered when she approached the car, and she reportedly didn't take the time and maintain the distance she should have when approaching a car that might have armed suspects in it.
"We have to support our officers when they are required to use deadly force, and we didn't get that, and she was fired today for it," said Pinkston.
The Wilburn case will be referred to the Dallas County District Attorney's office for presentation to a Grand Jury.
Three other officers were also fired on Monday.
Moises Limon, a 911 call taker, was terminated for driving while under the influence and not reporting his arrest to his supervisor.
Senior Corporal Frank Della was fired for public intoxication, damaging a person's property and making offensive contact with a person.
Senior Corporal William Wesley was fired for his involvement in a domestic disturbance which resulted in a police response.
All four officers have the right to appeal their sanctions.
KDFW FOX 4
Main Station Directory:
Didn't find what you were looking for?