This is the third in a series of articles detailing the many reprimands garnered by Louis Guthrie during his career as a deputy Sheriff. This reprimand involves his use of profane language, excessive force and unprofessional behavior, and this is not acceptable of any public employee. This reprimand is especially troublesome, involving physical and verbal abuse of an individual under his purview. Such behavior cannot be condoned, and none of us would wish to be treated as Louis Guthrie treated this individual.
Once again, Guthrie exhibits bad judgment, and we don’t want our Harris County deputies to follow the same path that Louis Guthrie has left throughout his law enforcement career. Below you will find the text of the reprimand:
Sheriff of Harris County 1301 FRANKLIN HOUSTON, TEXAS 77002-1978
JUNE 18, 1999
TO:Louis T. Guthrie, Deputy
District III / Patrol Bureau
SUBJECT: Disciplinary Action
(15-Day Temporary Suspension Without Pay)
REF: Violations of Chapter II,
Section 1.2 C, Section 1.5 H, N & Q, Section 1.7 B, and Section 1.11 B. 16 of the Department Manual
You are hereby advised that you shall be suspended from duty without pay for a period of fifteen (15) working days, beginning JUNE 19, 1999 and ending on JULY 9, 1999. Upon return to duty, you shall be placed on disciplinary probation for a period of 180 days beginning JULY 10, 1999 and ending JANUARY 11, 2000. You are further advised that in accordance with Chapter II Section 2.15 (“Extra Employment Policy”) Paragraph G, you are not eligible to work extra employment while on disciplinary suspension or probation the reasons for this disciplinary action are set out below:
An Internal Affairs Division (1AD) investigation (Case # 98-0136-0901) reveals that on June 19. 1998. you were unprofessional, used inappropriate language, and subjected a citizen to unwarranted physical abuse. On that date, you were working an approved extra job at the Marquis II bar located at 2631 Bissonnet in West University Place, Texas. At approximately 2.00 a.m., you and Deputy Charlie McRae were escorting customers out of the Marquis II bar at closing time. While clearing the bar, you made physical contact with Joseph Shahda in an attempt to make him leave There was an exchange of words between you and Mr. Shahda. to which you responded by using excessive force against him and causing him to fall to the floor There was no evidence that Mr. Shahda threatened you with violence or acted in any manner that justified your excessive use of force against him While Mr. Shahda was on the floor, you demonstrated further unreasonable conduct when you stood in front of him with raised fists, and yelled “Come on mother f$#ker,” or words to that effect. Although the basis for Mr. Shahda’s arrest is unclear – you later said you had considered “resisting arrest,” and there were other mentions of “criminal trespass” and “public intoxication” – it should be noted that you never actually filed charges against him. West University Place Police, to whom Shahda was transferred, released him later that night without ever filing charges or ticketing him
Your behavior in this matter was unprofessional and has brought discredit upon you, the Department and its members, and is inconsistent with the Department’s expectations of its personnel You are hereby cautioned that any future misconduct on your part will result in the imposition of further disciplinary action against you, which may include termination.
As a further condition of your disciplinary probation, you are hereby ordered to seek counseling and treatment concerning this incident through the Magellan Behavioral Health program for anger management.
This reprimand deals with Guthrie’s excessive use of force, and use of profanity, and the following quote pretty well sums things up:
This bullying type of behavior was totally unnecessary, and once again shows the poor judgment exhibited by Guthrie, along with his tendency to ignore department policy and abuse his authority.
If you, like me, want the Harris County Sheriff department to be occupied by professional law enforcement officers, who exhibit professional demeanor, you need to seriously contemplate whether Louis Guthrie is the man to lead them. Just remember the department’s words:
“Your behavior in this matter was unprofessional and has brought discredit upon you, the Department and its members, and is inconsistent with the Department’s expectations of its personnel”
Do you still think that Guthrie is qualified?