Dallas Police Associations call for outside investigation into 'cover up'

Police groups want independent investigation handled on case involving assistant chief

DALLAS -- Several Dallas police association leaders met Tuesday to demand an outside investigation into what they're calling a "cover up" by two of the department's highest-ranking officers.

It all dates back to February 11 when officers were dispatched to Dallas Assistant Police Chief Christine Smith's home after neighbors reported "a tussle" between Smith and her boyfriend.

Dallas police protocol requires a higher ranking officer to go to the scene when another officer is involved. Officers say 1st Assistant Chief Cynthia Villarreal was called but did not show up. Villarreal is the highest-ranking woman and Latina on the force. 

RELATED: Witness questions how Dallas police handled case involving assistant chief

Sergeant George Aranda with the National Latino Law Enforcement Organizations' greater Dallas chapter says Villarreal should be investigated for breaking protocol by an outside group.

"A lot of our officers are afraid to speak up because we're dealing with such high ranking members, so that's why we, the leaders of the associations, are here," Aranda said.

Officers also say they're upset the call to Smith's home was not investigated as a "domestic disturbance" even though witnesses called it into 911 as such. Further complicating matters is the fact Smith is in charge of the domestic violence division.

"If Assistant Chief Smith was the victim here, we want to make sure she's helped," said Michael Walton, the President of Dallas' Fraternal of Police.

At the press conference, association leaders say if the call had involved a lower ranking officer, the situation would have been handled differently.

"We'd immediately be investigated as it should be. It has to be the same for everyone no matter how high up," Aranda said.

The Dallas Police Department says it's conducting a review and Assistant Chief Smith has been placed on administrative leave. Villarreal is still at work and on the job.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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