Matthew Luckhurst, a San Antonio bike cop, who was fired in 2016 for trying to feed a homeless man a sandwich containing dog shit, had his dismissal overturned earlier this month, because the department took too long to act.
Luckhurst and his lawyer argued San Antonio didn’t have the authority to fire him due to a local law, which prevents the police department from disciplining a cop for conduct that occured more than 180 days before the date of receiving discipline.
“The indefinite suspension is overturned due to the violation of the 180-days prohibition,” the arbitrator wrote in the decision, according to KSAT.
Luckhurst testified the first incident took place on May 6, 2016, when he and two other cops were harassing homeless people in a parking lot. As the cops ordered the people to leave the parking lot, Luckhurst picked up dog shit with slices of bread. The cop says he placed the items inside a food container and he claims he only put the container next to the homeless man. After picking it up and smelling it, the homeless man threw the container on the ground and the cops told him he couldn’t throw it on the ground.
None of the other cops on the scene reported the incident and stories about the misconduct were only found out as rumors began to circulate around the police department.
On October 28, 2016, Luckhurst was notified about his dismissal.
According to documents from the arbitration hearing, Luckhurst claims to have later reviewed his own records and determined the incident couldn’t have occurred on May 6, 2016, because he had suffered an injury and was working light duty in that time period, which he claimed prevented him from riding a bike.
The arbitration documents state it’s possible the incident occurred outside the 180-day window for authorities to discipline Luckhurst. All of the witnesses gave varying dates as to when the incident happened. Luckhurst still faces possible termination for other conduct during his time as a San Antonio cop.
Photo: by San Antonio Police Department