By DAVID LOPEZ
According to a notice of disciplinary suspension from San Benito Interim Chief of Police Fred Bell, police officer Art Flores is to be suspended for three days due to comments Flores made to a local newspaper in October 2019.
According to the notice issued on Thursday, June 18, Flores’s comments negatively affected the San Benito Police Department, warranting disciplinary action.
Flores’s comments criticized the City of San Benito for, in his opinion, failing to adequately punish former Chief of Police Michael Galvan following Galvan’s involvement in the police-led shooting of Ricardo Treviño III, who was Flores’s stepson.
Ricardo Treviño III, 21, was fatally shot by San Benito police officers on December 7, 2018 after a chase ensued from the church located at 480 E. Expressway. According to reports and family members, police were initially called because Treviño had ingested medication, but he refused to confront the police and drove off. The car chase lasted about twenty minutes, covering an area of about 22 miles.
According to the notice, Flores’s comments to the newspaper in question were as follows: “Officials’ decision to reassign Galvan to lieutenant doesn’t constitute disciplinary actions. I’m just very disappointed in the city.
They haven’t punished this man. Bringing him back as lieutenant is not punishment. They punish people for doing less. They could have busted him down to patrolman. What’s more alarming now is he’s going to get a gun and badge again. There’s a liability putting him back in a leadership position.”
Under Flores’s violations, Bell has noted “Neglect of Duty,” and Bell states in the notice that Flores may have believed he was expressing his personal opinion, but his “actions on and off duty reflect on the [Police] Department.”
Editor’s note: This article has been edited for length. To read the full story, click here or make sure to grab a copy of the June 26-July 2, 2020 issue of the NEWS.