Crime

Fort Worth officer accused of lying about role in case is fired

Officer Royce Brown was indefinitely suspended by the department as of Jan. 5. He is appealing.
Officer Royce Brown was indefinitely suspended by the department as of Jan. 5. He is appealing. Courtesy

A police officer has been fired for allegedly failing to show up at a court for an aggravated kidnapping trial and giving conflicting information about his role in the case.

The indefinite suspension of Officer Royce Brown, who had been with the department since August 2008, took effect Monday, according to a disciplinary letter filed with the Civil Service Commission.

Brown has appealed, said Terry Daffron Porter, his attorney with the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas.

“I am anxious to get a hold of the investigation as I already have serious concerns with the method in which it was conducted,” Daffron Porter said. “He looks forward to his appeal hearing.”

According to the disciplinary letter, signed by now retired Chief Jeff Halstead, a Tarrant County assistant district attorney had told Brown in July that she needed to speak with him about his involvement in recovering a firearm used in an aggravated kidnapping case.

Brown, according to the letter, told the prosecutor he didn’t recall anything about the firearm and that he only provided security at the scene. The attorney replied that she might need to speak with him again later, the letter states.

But, the letter alleges, Brown later did not returns calls or an email from the attorney, in which he was informed he was needed in court.

Later, a police supervisor learned that the prosecutor did not want Brown to testify in court after learning that he had a prior suspension from the department for untruthfulness.

Brown, according to the letter, denied receiving any of the voice mail messages and later told investigators that he did have a second conversation with the prosecutor — a conversation she denies took place.

In a later interview with investigators, Brown said he tried to call the prosecutor but the call taker was unable to transfer him. He provided investigators with phone records showing he called the district attorney’s office but at a number different from the one provided by the prosecutor.

“He submitted his phone records and his phone records bore out the fact that he did call the DA’s office,” Daffron Porter said.

The letter alleges that Brown also dramatically changed his account of his role in the aggravated kidnapping case in separate interviews with investigators.

“Officer Brown abandoned his obligation as an officer to testify in a criminal case that could have possibly helped with the conviction of a felon,” according to the letter.

The letter states that Brown was also untruthful to both the prosecutor and internal investigators about discovering evidence in the case. He denied to investigators finding the gun in question in the aggravated kidnapping case despite contradictory statements from multiple witnesses, the letter states.

“Officer Brown’s integrity could always play a part in court cases, which could make him not useful in court cases that he needs to testify in,” the letter states.

Brown had previously received a 16-day suspension from the department on allegations of failing to devote time/attention to duty, untruthfulness, improper use of a police communications system, and disabling data components on a police vehicle, the letter states.

Deanna Boyd, 817-390-7655

Twitter: @deannaboyd

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