Nearly 200 Bartlett residents calling for police officer's firing



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Posted on December 10, 2012 at 7:21 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 10 at 11:56 PM

BARTLETT, Texas -- Some people in Bartlett are calling on the city council to fire a police officer after a woman accused him of assaulting her.

The officer says the woman, Dora Garza and her family threatened to kill him. Monday evening, supporters of Garza presented a petition of nearly 200 signatures to the council, claiming quite the opposite.

On Oct. 19, Dora Garza, her son and cousin were arrested by Officer Jefferey Painter.

In dash cam video that Garza obtained from the nearby Holland Police Department, you can see Officer Painter bring her to the cruiser.

The two apparently had a physical confrontation.

Officer Painter was called to the home for complaints of loud music. Garza says he asked her to come out of her backyard, and she refused.

"He told me again, I said 'no.' That's when he snatched at me, pulled me towards him, and I was in my sandals. He then he pulled me towards him, he grabbed me, he body-slammed me on the ground. Right here where all these rocks are at," Garza explained.

But Bartlett Police Chief Eric Edwards says that's not the whole story.

"When he arrived, he was met by several people and ultimately was assaulted and actually tried to, they tried to kill him," Chief Edwards said.

According to the police report, the Garza family cursed at Painter, pushed him and threatened to get a gun. Garza says that's not true.

Both Garza and Painter suffered minor injuries that night.

Garza's been charged with assault of a public servant and evading arrest. Painter has been with the police department just six months. He continues his duties as normal, but Garza and many of her neighbors are fighting that with a petition.

"They want him out of Bartlett because they know he's not a good cop, and people are complaining and complaining about that police officer that he needs to go," Garza said.

The police department and Bell County District Attorney's Office are investigating.