APD's Muñoz Reinstated
Fired in May for host of administrative policy violations including charges that he lied and used excessive force in connection with the alleged choking of a 15-year-old officer's punishment gets reduced to three-day suspension
According to arbitrator AlmaLee Guttshall, not only was there insufficient proof to sustain the most serious charges against Muñoz, but she also concluded that Internal Affairs investigators failed to include in their final report relevant evidence that might call into question the validity of the complaint about Muñoz's behavior. Guttshall concluded that Muñoz's chain-of-command, including then-Chief Stan Knee, apparently relied on mere portions of the entire case file in order to sustain the allegations against Muñoz and, ultimately, to hand him an indefinite suspension the civil-service equivalent of a firing. "The members of [Muñoz's chain of command] were not fully aware of the facts," she wrote. "They may have been less likely to perceive the positive aspects of the encounter because of the inflammatory nature of 'choking' a 'child,' rather than the handling of an upset and angry mother and her angry and upset teenager."