Ex-Texas cop fired for punching handcuffed pregnant woman wants her job back

Ex-Texas cop fired for punching handcuffed pregnant woman wants her job back

A former Texas police officer who was canned for repeatedly punching a handcuffed pregnant woman is trying to get her job back, according to local reports.

Body-worn camera video shows ex-San Antonio Police Officer Elizabeth Montoya punching a handcuffed Kimberly Esparza several times in the face during a July 2018 arrest, the San Antonio Police Department said.

She was fired in January 2019 for inhumane treatment of a suspect during an arrest.

Montoya is currently going through a third-party arbitration process in an attempt to get her job back, as well as receive backpay and benefits.

As part of the arbitration hearing, police officers testified that on the night of the arrest, Montoya searched Esparza while investigating a home that had been burglarized, the San Antonio Express News reported Wednesday .

Officer body-worn video shows Esparza telling Montoya she was six months pregnant.

“Six months pregnant and you’re out here doing this,” Montoya tells Esparza, after finding what appeared to be a pill in Esparza’s bra, the video shows.

Bodycam footage shows then-San Antonio police officer Elizabeth Montoya assaulting Kimberly Esparza. KSAT-TV

Montoya demanded Kimberly Esparza stop kicking and yelling.

Montoya attempted to escort Esparza to a police vehicle.

Kimberly Esparza was six months pregnant at the time of her arrest in July 2018.

Montoya tells Esparza she needs to search between her legs, and Esparza responds she doesn’t want Montoya to search her because she’s in pain from the pregnancy.

“You’re hurting my back,” Esparza says as Montoya continues searching her.

“Are you going to stop?” Montoya asks, as Esparza kicks and screams.

“If you kick me again, I will break your arm,” Montoya warns.

Esparza kicks Montoya a second time as officers try to place her in the back of a police unit, according to the video.

A San Antonio police internal affairs investigator claimed Elizabeth Montoya lied about how many times she punched Kimberly Esparza.

Montoya then punches Esparza in the face multiple times and another officer tries to stop Montoya.

“I’m pregnant, dude. Why did you hit me like that,” Esparza says.

“Stop acting like you’re worried about your f–king baby. You’re not worried about your baby if you’re taking drugs while you’re pregnant,” Montoya says.

During the arbitration process, internal affairs investigators with the San Antonio Police Department said that Montoya lied about how many times she hit Esparza. Montoya also muted her body camera, according to WOAI.

Elizabeth Montoya was hired by the Elmendorf Police Department after being fired by the San Antonio Police Department.

Elizabeth Montoya’s attorney, Robert Leonard (left), argued the former officer was “acting within policy,” while arresting Kimberly Esparza.

Montoya’s attorney, Robert Leonard, asked during arbitration that Montoya be rehired and punished another way, according to the San Antonio Express News.

“Regardless of the city’s position that the incident captured on video looks bad, when you peel back the layers and look at the underlying facts and circumstances in this case, you will see that … she was acting within training. She was acting within policy.”

Leonard could not be immediately reached for comment.

The San Antonio Police Union president testified Thursday that Montoya was never offered alternative training or retraining before her termination.

Since being axed by the San Antonio Police Department, Montoya has been hired by the Elmendorf Police Department, another department in the San Antonio area.
Ex-Texas cop fired for punching handcuffed pregnant woman wants her job back
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