January 22, 2013
GALVESTON - The Galveston Police Department has indefinitely suspended (fired) Officer Brandon Nelson without pay, Police Chief Henry Porretto said through his official spokesman today.
Nelson was placed on administrative leave last November for suspicion of violating several GPD rules and regulations.
The incident preceding Nelson's firing occurred on October 31, 2012 when Nelson was dispatched to a family services call. Supervisors were summoned to the scene after Nelson had allegedly acted unprofessionally with the citizen who initially requested police.
Nelson's conduct was of immediate concern with the arriving Sergeants, said the police department press release.
The Chief was notified and Nelson was immediately placed on administrative leave. An administrative investigation was conducted by the police department's internal affairs investigators.
The investigation concluded that Nelson violated departmental rules and regulations including Conduct Unbecoming and Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order.
The facts of the case warrant grounds for Nelson to be Indefinitely Suspended. A criminal investigation is still ongoing and shall be presented to the Galveston County District Attorney's Office. The press release did not mention what criminal laws Nelson is alleged to have violated.
However, back in November, Galveston resident Carolyn Wade, 59, told reporters she called police about 5:30 p.m. Halloween evening, asking that an officer speak with her 14-year-old granddaughter, who she suspected was planning to run away from home.
What transpired led Wade, a black woman, to believe the white officer's actions might have been racially motivated.
Galveston police Chief Henry Porretto didn't release Nelson's name at the time, saying he had not been charged, yet he was relieved of duty with pay nonetheless.
No charges were filed in the case, and police had not received a written complaint from Wade at that time, although Wade went on a Houston TV station with her complaint.
Wade accused the officer of using profanity toward her granddaughter who she declined to name.
Wade alleged Nelson threw the girl on the couch and accused the officer of calling her a coward for not whipping her granddaughter. She did not say specifically how she, herself, wound up with a black eye.
The officer handcuffed the teen and as he was leading her to his patrol car Wade said Nelson kept yelling back at her so loud the neighbors could her him.
IAD investigators interviewed neighbors and others, turning those findings over to Chief Porretto who made the final determination to terminate the officer.
Nelson may appeal his firing before the Galveston Civil Service Commission which may uphold his firing, reverse the firing, or change it to a suspension.
Media report from November 2012