Dallas officer fired for punching man

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An officer with the Dallas Police Department was fired on Tuesday for repeatedly punching a man in 2021.

A spokesperson for the department said Police Chief Eddie García would not elaborate on his decision to fire Senior Cpl. Melvin Williams as his decision "speaks for itself," The Dallas Morning News reported.

Williams, who had been with the department for 16 years, was placed on administrative leave last summer after a video of him pushing a man into a post and then getting on top of him to punch him several times in the face went viral.

The incident began when officers were breaking up a fight and Williams yelled at the man to back up.

"Back up, back up, back your ass up," Williams said. "Get off the [expletive] street."

"He was terminated for violating the department's use of force policy," the department said in a statement to The Hill.

The police department refused to release the body camera footage of the incident after a request by The Dallas Morning News.

Williams is facing a misdemeanor assault charge for the incident, but his attorney has argued that the officer's use of force was needed in the situation.

"He used lawful force in dealing with a combative suspect," lawyer Robert Rogers said in a statement, according to the local outlet. "I look forward to clearing his name through the judicial and civil appeal process."

Williams was under investigation for excessive use of force for two other incidents before the video appeared last summer of him punching the man in the face repeatedly.

Williams can use civil service rules to appeal the department's decision to fire him, according to the spokesperson.

The Hill has reached out to Williams's attorney for comment.

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