New information has surfaced on the San Antonio police officer fired for giving a homeless man a feces sandwich. Police documents say Officer Matthew Luckhurst admitted to it even though he denied he had done it when he was fired.
The San Antonio Police Department says that the incident happened in May at Houston and I-35 downtown. According to SAPD, Luckhurst put the “sandwich” in a Styrofoam container and gave it to a homeless man. The identity of the homeless man given a poop sandwich by a police officer is unknown.
Newly released internal affairs documents from SAPD say Luckhurst admitted to it when he was questioned about it by another officer.
“That’s when Matt Luckhurst peered around the corner from the front desk area and looked directly at me with a sorrow look on his face,” wrote the officer in his report. “‘It was me. I did it,’” said Luckhurst in the report.
“He went on with a short speech about how sorry he was and that he realized how bad the situation was,” the officer wrote. “His apology to us seemed heartfelt, but [the incident] was still completely uncalled for.”
Several documents from internal affairs say that the homeless man didn’t actually eat the sandwich. Several officers had knowledge of the incident and eventually reported it.
When Luckhurst was fired in late October, he denied the allegations. His lawyer, Ben Sifuentes, told KENS 5 that Luckhurst joked about it, but didn't actually do it.Luckhurst was fired in late October, he denied the allegations. His lawyer, Ben Sifuentes, told KENS 5 that Luckhurst joked about it, but didn't actually do it.
SAPD spokesman, Sgt. Jesse Salame, told KENS 5 that police officers can appeal a firing through a process called arbitration.
“The officer and his representation will make the case for an officer, and the city attorney will make the case for the police chief and the city,” Sgt. Salame explained.
The process is open to the public and the media. The arbitrator will act like a judge, making the final call on whether any fired officer gets his or her job back.
In the past, some officers who have been fired have gotten their jobs back, like Michael Garza who, in 2012, was fired for shooting and killing his girlfriend's ex-boyfriend. In 2015, an arbitrator ruled that he could get his job back.
When and if police firings are overturned in arbitration, the city and police chief can't do anything about it, but it doesn’t mean the officer will be back on duty. In Garza’s case, the department issued a statement saying he would not be at a post where he would be allowed to interact with the public.
“If a discipline is overturned and an arbitrator decided to let an officer get his or her job back, there are still conditions that the department can put on the officer dependent on what the allegations were,” St. Salame said.