FORT WORTH, Texas - A fired Fort Worth police sergeant accused of directing another officer to use excessive force has been reinstated.
Sergeant Kenneth Pierce was fired from the force in December 2017 after a controversial arrest in August of that year.
Dorshay Morris called police to help her with a domestic incident concerning her boyfriend at the time. In body camera video released by Fort Worth PD, Morris — who had warrants out for her arrest — did not want to give her ID to police. Sgt. Pearce ordered a rookie officer to Tase her.
After reviewing the video, Chief Joel Fitzgerald fired Pierce over the use of force. But on Wednesday, the city agreed to give him back his job plus back pay.
Under a new agreement, Sergeant Pierce will now get a 35-day suspension, which he's already served. He’ll also get any back pay for the time he was off the job.
Supporters for Morris are calling the decision unfair and a sham.
This video of Morris' August 2017 arrest eventually got Pierce fired over his use of force. She had called 911 out of concern for her own safety, telling the operator she was armed with a knife and feared her boyfriend was going to break into her apartment.
Morris, who had warrants out for her arrest, did not want to give her ID to police. But the charges against her for resisting arrest and aggravated assault on a peace officer were later dropped. And more than a year later, Pierce has now been reinstated.
“He is happy,” said CLEAT Attorney Terry Daffron, who is representing Pierce. “He’s just glad to be coming back. It’s been a very long year for him.”
The city of Fort Worth and Pierce’s attorney came to an agreement that was signed Wednesday morning.
“Sgt. Pierce will receive a 35-day suspension for failure to supervise,” Daffron said. “The allegations of unlawful arrest and use of force are not sustained, and he will also pull his appeals on the bypass for the promotion to lieutenant.”
Pierce was not at the brief hearing. And details of how and why that agreement came to be were not explained.
“This was unfair,” said Jasmine Crockett, Morris’ attorney.
Supporters and attorneys for Morris are calling the decision a complete turnaround from what they considered the correct decision of firing Pierce back in 2017.
“So you would rather give this officer his job back when we know that he used force that was not necessary?” Crockett said. “We’ve got to do better here in Fort Worth. We’ve got to do better in Tarrant County. We’ve got to start holding these elected officials accountable and saying enough is enough.”
Morris didn't want to speak on camera. But her supporters suggested the move may be politically motivated and say a 35-day suspension for Sergeant Pierce is not nearly enough.
“Instead, we’re going to say now that any officer can go out and Tase somebody at will and that can be enough,” Crockett said.
According to his attorney, Sergeant Pierce could be back on the job within a few days after he completes any training he missed.
Attorneys for Morris plan to file a civil suit against the city on her behalf next month.