GRETNA - A Gretna police officer was fired and has been arrested after being caught on camera kicking a handcuffed suspect, according to Police Chief Arthur Lawson Jr.
A security camera video of the April apprehension shows an officer, Robert Wallow, kicking a handcuffed man as he lay on the ground. The officer appears to pull out his gun and talk to the suspect for several minutes before kicking him additional times.
Wallow, who had been with the department for 18 months, was fired on Thursday and arrested Friday. He was booked on malfeasance in office and simple battery charges.
“This is not one of the brightest days of the Gretna Police Department," said Lawson, who added that it is not representative of his police force.
Lawson said that the police department did not receive a complaint about the incident, but found out about it during the course of the burglary investigation against suspect Carlos Gustavo Pineda.
Pineda was not seriously injured and did not file a formal complaint. But, according to Lawson, questions raised by the video were forwarded to his office.
Lawson said he is not happy that it took so long for the video to be brought to his attention following the April 22 arrest.
“The process that took so long for it to become known to the administration, that I'm not happy with,” he said. “That we are looking into. And we're going to look at all aspects of this incident before it's over.”
Lawson said the internal investigation continues into the delayed reaction to the video and lack of action by other officers who were at the scene. At least one officer is on administrative leave as a result of the ongoing probe, he said, but would not elaborate on the reason.