The Fort Worth Police Department fired one of its officers on Tuesday, following his arrest on March 29 over an alleged attempt to destroy physical evidence while working in an off-duty capacity.
As reported by The Dallas Express, Sgt. Rodsdricke Martin, 46, was arrested in March after a Tarrant County grand jury indicted him on March 25 for allegedly tampering with or fabricating physical evidence with the intent to impair.
Martin is accused of deleting a child pornography file from a hospital patient’s computer instead of reporting the case to authorities, according to a redacted police report on the incident obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
The police report apparently states that an elderly patient at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest asked a patient care technician for assistance connecting his computer to the hospital’s Wi-Fi. The technician reportedly found lewd photos on the patient’s computer, including naked children, and reported the discovery to her supervisor.
Martin, who had been working off-duty as security at the hospital, investigated the incident alongside other security staff. The report claims that Martin deleted the photos “instead of seizing the computer and alerting the Crimes Against Children Unit to further investigate.”
The 16-year veteran of Fort Worth PD was placed on restricted duty and stripped of all his police powers. The department immediately began investigating the incident while Martin remained on an unpaid suspension. He was subsequently indicted four days before his arrest on March 29.
The hospital management wrote in an email in March that it was cooperating with Fort Worth PD’s investigation of the incident, according to the Star-Telegram.
“We assisted FWPD in their investigation and conducted our own internal review,” the hospital wrote in the email. “Sgt. Martin has not been eligible to work security shifts at any Texas Health facility during the investigation.”
Following Martin’s indictment, his attorney, Robert Huseman of the Varghese Summersett law firm, revealed that his team was conducting an independent investigation into the allegation against his client. Huseman also asked the public not to make a rushed judgment.
“Sgt. Martin has served this community for more than a decade and has devoted his life to helping others,” Huseman said.
The Fort Worth Police announced on Tuesday, July 12, that it had fired Martin after the sergeant’s chain of command determined that he violated multiple FWPD policies. The department said the decision was made following a “thorough review of the administrative investigation.”
“The FWPD will continue to hold employees accountable who do not meet the standards expected of a Fort Worth police officer and in doing so will continue to be transparent and open with our community,” the department said in a statement announcing Martin’s termination.
The announcement also noted that Fort Worth Police Chief Neil Noakes concurred with the chain of command’s determination and terminated Martin’s employment with the department.
Martin joined the Fort Worth Police Department in July 2006 and worked as a narcotics officer, according to the Star-Telegram. He is expected back in court on July 29 for his next hearing.