Newly released video shows an Odessa police officer calling a driver “[expletive] retarded” during a traffic stop last July.
The video shows Cpl. Matthew Marshall visibly and audibly upset after the driver failed to pull over in a timely manner once Cpl. Marshall initiated the traffic stop near East 8th Street.
Once the driver stops, the video then shows Cpl. Marshall pulling the driver out of the car, placing the driver in handcuffs and asking the driver if he had noticed the emergency lights. The driver is heard asking what happened and telling Cpl. Marshall that he was on his way to work. Cpl. Marshall is then heard replying with: “You are [expletive] retarded is what you are.”
The incident happened around 3 a.m. on July 31, 2016, according to documents. The driver filed a complaint on September 20, which resulted in an internal investigation and subsequent discipline for Cpl. Marshall. Cpl. Marshall was given a verbal reprimand on Oct. 25, following the completion of the internal investigation, according to documents obtained by Local 2/Fox 24.
The internal investigation also states that the verbal reprimand served as a form of discipline for Cpl. Marshall after it was determined that Cpl. Marshall failed to turn his body microphone back on while muting it during the traffic stop.
The driver also reported that prescription pills were taken during the traffic stop, but the internal investigation determined there was no evidence to support that claim.The driver was cited for an unknown offense during the stop. Cpl. Marshall is shown conducting a field sobriety test on the driver. It was determined that the driver was not under the influence of any substance or alcohol following the test.
During the internal investigation Cpl. Marshall stated “his anger took over” and he used profanity toward the driver and called him a “[expletive] retard” for not getting out of his way when he had his lights and sirens on. Odessa interim police chief Mike Gerke tells Local 2/Fox 24 that during the time when Cpl. Marshall initially had his lights and sirens on, there was a call out on the radio about an Odessa police officer who had possibly been shot. Gerke says Cpl. Marshall was heading in that direction when he came upon the driver who was not yielding to him. It was later determined that an officer had not been shot. Interim chief Gerke stated that the reported circumstances still do not qualify as an excuse for what Cpl. Marshall said to the driver.
“That’s not who he is, and that’s not who we are,” Gerke told Local 2/Fox 24 in an interview on Thursday.
“Remember, we’re human. We make mistakes. We are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.”
A previous press release states that Cpl. Marshall was named Officer of the Month in April 2016, nearly three months before this incident. It also states that Cpl. Marshall joined OPD in 2014. Prior to joining OPD, Cpl. Marshall served in the army as an interrogator for six years and served one year in Iraq.