July 17, 2013 | SAN ANTONIO, Texas (CN) - A police officer for a Texas school district may have used excessive force in fatally shooting a teenager who fled the scene of a fistfight, a federal judge ruled.
Denys Lopez Moreno sued Officer Daniel Alvarado, Police Chief John Page and the Northside Independent School District in September 2011 for the death of her 14-year-old son, Derek Lopez.
The incident unfolded on Nov. 12, 2010, when Lopez allegedly exited a school bus and, in view of Alvardo, punched another student.
Lopez ignored Alvarado's order to freeze and fled the scene with the school officer tailing him in a patrol car, according to the amended complaint.
With Lopez hiding in a shed at a nearby home, Alvarado drove back to the scene of the fight but allegedly refused to give up the search.
"Ignoring his supervisor's orders to 'stay with the victim and get the information from him,' Alvarado placed the second boy into the patrol car and sped into the neighborhood to search for Derek," the complaint states.
Local homeowners then directed Alvarado to the shed, Moreno claimed.
"In violation of NISD police department procedures, Alvarado drew his weapon immediately after exiting the patrol car," the complaint states. "With his gun drawn, he rushed through the gate and into the back yard. Within seconds from arriving at the residence, Alvarado shot and killed the unarmed boy hiding in the shed."
Moreno said the officer had a history of disregarding orders.
"In approximately a four (4) year period leading up to the shooting, defendant Alvarado had been reprimanded sixteen (16) times," according to the complaint. "Specifically, he had been reprimanded for insubordination and failure to follow supervisors' directives seven (7) times. Due to his poor service record, Alvarado was suspended without pay on five (5) occasions. On May 21, 2008, Alvarado was recommended for termination by Page. Despite being recommended for termination for insubordination and for refusal to follow supervisor directives, Alvarado remained on the force without remedial training."