Dallas police Sgt. Walter Clifton, who supervised officers at the center of an inquiry into problematic ticket writing practices, is under investigation for telling officers to make up occupations on citations as a way to obscure that people were homeless, reports the Dallas Morning News. He gave officers a list of suggested occupations, such as “Human Relations Clerk” for suspects believed to be prostitutes, and “Pharmacology Specialist” for suspects thought to be drug addicts. Clifton told investigators that he had officers write in such occupations on tickets because he believed that judges would not issue arrest warrants on unpaid citations if they thought a person was homeless. Dallas Chief Municipal Court Judge Jay Robinson said there is no such policy.
The Morning News and police investigators independently found dozens of examples of the improperly filled out occupations on the tickets. “We’re going to look at the supervisory oversight of these guys,” Police Chief David Kunkle said. “We’re going to look at what did he know and what should he have known.” A prosecutor did not believe Clifton’s instructions were a criminal offense, but said prosecutors would examine the issue of putting made-up occupations on citations. “We’re very concerned about false information being recorded on an official document, and we will have to take a very serious look into that,” she said.