Audio: Chief Talks About Officer’s Suspension

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A Kosciusko police officer is serving a three-day suspension without pay for violating department policies during an interaction with a group of teenagers in a city park last week.  But some of the parents of the youngsters involved want stiffer punishment.  They’re calling for Officer Braxton Goza to be fired.   Police Chief Chris Wray says, “We will absolutely back our officers when they are right, but when they make a mistake, we hold them accountable.  And this is a situation where the officer made a mistake and he’s going to get three days off.”

The chief says Goza and some other officers responded to a disturbance at Jason Niles Park.  He says Goza didn’t activate his body camera as he should have, was guilty of conduct unbecoming an officer and without identifying himself as an officer, he pointed the laser on his Taser at one of the teenagers.  But the chief says he still believes Goza is a good officer.  “We’re going to learn from this mistake and move forward.  And the Kosciusko Police Department is going to do everything that it can to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.”

About two weeks ago, Goza was one of the Kosciusko officers who responded to a shooting and used a tourniquet on the victim’s leg wound.  Chief Wray says, “The medical staff advised me that if it was not for the actions of Officer Goza, that young man would have lost his life.  He would have bled out before the ambulance arrived.”   And for those actions, Goza received a letter of commendation and a lifesaving award.

 

 

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