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Schertz Police Department Internal Investigation Finds Officers Violated ‘Duty To Be Kind, Courteous, And Patient’

Dina Rayford addresses the Schertz city council in early November.
Dominic Anthony Walsh
Texas Public Radio
Dina Rayford addresses the Schertz city council in early November.

This story has been updated to reflect a statement from the Schertz Police Department.

The Schertz Police Department released the results of a nearly two-month long internal investigation into officers’ treatment of Zekee Rayford, a Black 18-year-old. Officers repeatedly kicked and tased Rayford during a traffic stop in early November after he drove to his father’s house instead of immediately pulling over during a traffic stop.

Zekee Rayford said he feared for his life.

During the arrest, an officer told Rayford’s family, “You better relax, or you’re gonna get it next. I promise you, you will.”

The investigation found that officers violated only one department policy — the use of inappropriate language. It did not find violations of five other policies — “Use of Force," “Conduct and Behavior,” “Responsibility to Respect the Rights of Others,” “Use of Intimidation” or “Treatment of Persons in Custody.”

According to the police department’s statement — released to news media on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve — the investigation also “identified training opportunities to reinforce policies and procedures and enhance the department’s continuous improvement and use of best practices in policing. The department will begin this training early in 2021.”

Dina Rayford, Zekee’s stepmother, said the family had not been notified of the findings.

“I'm surprised,” she said. “Okay, so we have to move forward then because this is not okay. This is just not okay. They pretty much swept it under the rug.”

She said Zekee Rayford is traumatized.

“He's still not doing good. He's still — I mean, he truly has PTSD behind this. I mean, it's real,” she said. “And what he's been through — and you’ve seen it on tape — and they're gonna say, ‘There was no excessive force.’ That's absolutely insane, when the woman was kicking him when he was down. That makes no sense to me.”

The City of Schertz said the involved officers "will be counseled" and the entire department "will receive additional training as part of a department-wide initiative."

“They're just kind of passing over it. They’re just covering up,” Dina Rayford said. “Okay, it's Schertz, though. I'm not surprised, actually. I said I was — going to have to think about it. It’s Schertz.”

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Dominic Anthony Walsh can be reached at Dominic@TPR.org and on Twitter at @_DominicAnthony