ARLINGTON, Texas - The Arlington police officer has been fired two days after shooting and killing a suspected drunk driver.
The police chief called his decision a matter of transparency.
The policies the chief referred to say in part that in most cases officers are not supposed to put themselves in the path of a vehicle where deadly force is the likely outcome. And in most cases, they're not supposed to shoot at moving vehicles.
The chief suggested the officer could have taken other actions with the driver, who ignored multiple commands to stop or surrender during the pursuit.
As far as the criminal investigation, the officer has not been charged with anything.
An officer shot and killed 40-year-old Jesse Fischer of Addison on Wednesday.
Chief Al Jones terminated seven-year veteran officer Robert Phillips, who fired multiple shots at Fischer.
Fischer was circling around slowly in a cul-de-sac after evading a DWI traffic stop, driving in the direction approaching officers.
Chief Jones says Officer Phillips violated the department’s general orders. He pointed to the officer’s decision to get out of his patrol vehicle.
"I’m going to tell you I didn’t take this decision lightly. It was very tough for me," he said.
Chief Jones says his decision is about transparency and a clear violation of the department’s use of deadly force policy. He disputes the Arlington Police Association, which has already called it a rush to judgment.
"No, I didn’t rush to judgment. What I would say is the facts we know today and the video you just saw is not going to change tomorrow, not going to change six months from now. It is what it is," he said.
The Arlington Police Association released a statement saying, "they are handing down judgments without giving time for a complete investigation. The department needs to allow the total investigation to be done and all the facts to be reviewed before taking such punitive action against the officer."
The head of CLEAT says, "this is a political firing by an administration that is publicly washing its hands of any connection to this officer that they screened, hired and trained."
With the support of several community leaders and clergy, Chief Jones offered more in terms of what the now-terminated officer could have done in the situation.
"He could’ve backed up behind the vehicle and allowed the vehicle to go by. He could have stayed in his vehicle," he said. "So that he didn’t put himself in a situation where he had to use deadly force."
The chief said multiple times during his news conference that transparency and earning the communities trust were significant factors in his decision.
"We had to look at it from the totality of the situation. But then also too you're looking at from the community's perspective as well," he said. "Because I knew I was going to release this video. Without any type of action with it, the community would have been outraged. And that's the last thing I want here in Arlington."
Fischer's family and their attorney told FOX 4 they aren’t ready to make a public statement.
It was never confirmed if Fischer was intoxicated or dealing with some medical emergency. Both were considered. He's had several run-ins with police for previous non-violent crimes.
Chief Jones said he met with Fischer’s family on Friday.
But even with the internal investigation complete, the department did not charge Phillips with a crime. The chief didn’t want to comment on possible criminal charges, leaving that up to the district attorney’s office.
"We're going to make sure that we package this case really nice," he said. "Make sure that we're very thorough with it. Then we can turn it over to them, and they can actually send it to the grand jury."
There was a second officer on the scene who did not fire their weapon. Chief Jones isn’t releasing this officer’s identity. This second officer is on paid administrative leave.