Report clears KCPD officers

JORDAN MOSS
Staff Writer

Reports have concluded that KC police officers did not use excessive force in their handling of the events following the Feb. 23 basketball game between KC and Navarro College.

After the contest between the two schools, KCPD officers pepper-sprayed members of the Navarro team and coaching staff as the Navarro players tried to return to the court.

Navarro players were warned to go into their locker room several times. After threatening KCPD officer and fans, KCPD used pepper spray.

Two investigations were conducted into the conduct of the KCPD officers, one internally by KCPD Chief Martin Pessink and the other by a Dallas/Fort Worth security firm.

One of the larger factors in the incident was the behavior of a female Navarro employee. Pessink’s report states that had the offensive behavior of the woman been observed by KCPD officers it would have been addressed.

Pessink does believe that future incidents like this can be prevented.

“We cannot control the pre-existing attitudes or emotions of individuals who are coming to our athletic events,” Pessink’s report said. “I believe we can do a better job of reigning in some of the factors that contributed to this incident,  however.”

Pessink’s report also suggests the installation of cameras in the gym to serve as witnesses.

The use of off-duty Kilgore Police Department officers  to help supplement KCPD officers is expected in the future during high-tension rivalry games.

Navarro school officials have launched their own investigation into the incident, citing perceived bias in the two KC reports.