Parent takes grievance to LISD Board, asks police chief to be fired. Board votes no.

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — The Lubbock ISD Board of Trustees on Thursday morning denied the appeal of parent Mark Camacho who asked, among other things, that LISD Police Chief Jody Scifres be fired.

Camacho was arrested at OL Slaton Middle School this year and charged with both trespassing and resisting arrest. Camacho said the charges were dropped and was not able to find charges against him in the current Lubbock County court records.

Camacho presented video evidence of his arrest and claimed the situation was both excessive force and an illegal arrest. Most of the board members disagreed that it was an illegal arrest.

Most of the board members felt like both Mr. Camacho and LISD police officers alike failed to let cooler heads prevail at the time of his arrest.

Multiple board members said LISD police should have done a better job of de-escalating the situation. But Board President Zach Brady also indicated that disciplinary action had already been taken against the chief. Due to privacy concerns, he said, the specific nature of that action was not publicly revealed.

Brady also pointed out that Lieutenant Darren Walters is no longer with the LISD police. He said his vote on the issue would be different if Walters were still on the police force.

During the grievance hearing, Camacho said, “I’m here to seek justice for every child and parent who has been oppressed.”

“I am a victim of your negligence,” Camacho told the board. “I believe your motto, ‘Every child every day’ are simply just words to make the district look good. All words and no action.”

“I was illegally arrested and injured by the excessive use of force, and falsely imprisoned,” Camacho said, “… for speaking up to a crime I had witnessed.”

Several board members later responded that the arrest was “stupid” but not illegal.

Camacho also said he could have been the next George Floyd. That did not set well with board member Bill Stubblefield.

“To say that we don’t care for every child every day,” Stubblefield said, “… to compare this to George Floyd… he was Black man who lost his life. And you put those on even measuring scales? I don’t think I could pay anyone in this room a million dollars to be black for 30 days. When you said that, that’s what you turned it into.”

The following is a statement from LISD:

Statement regarding this morning’s grievance hearing

The Lubbock Independent School District Board of Trustees ruled this morning that actions taken by officers with the Lubbock ISD Police Department were not deliberately indifferent during an interaction involving a member of the public outside of O.L. Slaton Middle School on February 14, 2020. Mark Camacho filed an appeal of his grievance alleging illegal arrest when he was taken into custody for trespassing. In a Level II appeal, a district administrator ruled the arrest of Mr. Camacho was legal. Mr. Camacho filed a Level III grievance requesting a hearing in open session before the Lubbock ISD Board of Trustees. By a vote of 6-1, trustees ruled that the arrest was legal, but stated the actions taken by the officers did not meet district expectations. Trustees ruled to deny the appeal and uphold the administration’s response from the Level II hearing.

Lubbock ISD Police body camera videos from the incident are available at this link.

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