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Arlington police officer fired after fatal shooting of man

October 23, 2021 GMT

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — An Arlington police officer who fatally shot a man has been fired for violating department policy, said Police Chief Al Jones.

Jones on Friday announced the firing of Officer Robert Phillips, two days after Phillips fatally shot Jesse Fischer on a city street.

Fischer had twice driven away from officers during traffic stops when he drove onto a dead-end street, then turned his vehicle around, police said. Phillips then stopped his patrol vehicle on the street, got out and fired as Fischer drove toward him.

Phillips violated policy that limits when officers may put themselves in the path of, or when they may shoot at a moving vehicle, Jones said.

“(Phillips) could have backed up behind (his) vehicle and allowed the vehicle to go by,” Jones said. “He could have stayed in his vehicle so he didn’t put himself in a situation where he had to use deadly force,” or he could have used the vehicle to block Fischer on the dead-end street.

Arlington Police Association president J.P. Mason, called the decision to fire Jones “hasty.”

The officer’s dismissal came quickly, Jones said, but not until after he had reviewed the shooting.

“The facts as we know them today are not going to change,” Jones said.