Video shows now-former Fort Worth police officer shove man to ground, throw punches

Fort Worth Police Department

A Fort Worth police officer recently fired for excessive use of force pushed a man while he walked away then got into a fist fight with the man in July 2022, according to video released Wednesday by police.

Jose Salazar, a 15-year veteran with the department assigned to the Dignitary Protection Unit, was off duty and working security at a bar in Fort Worth’s West 7th area when he pushed someone to the ground and used force to arrest him, according to the news release.

The video shows the man walking away from Salazar when the now-former officer shoved him, sending him to the ground. The man stood up, turned around, and appeared to strike Salazar before the two ended up exchanging blows outside Shot Cellar on Foch Street.

It appears in the video that Salazar hits the man multiple times in the head before the man falls to the ground and Salazar begins putting him in handcuffs as another officer runs up to the scene.

Police said before the man walked away, he was standing outside the bar at which Salazar was working, which appears to be Texas Republic, having an argument with employees. Police said the man walked away “without presenting any threat toward Officer Salazar or the public” before Salazar shoved him.

Police began a use-of-force review and found a video of the incident that contradicted what Salazar told investigators about what happened, according to the release.

Salazar was placed on restrictive duty and stripped of all police powers immediately as the internal affairs unit began an investigation into his use of force, according to the news release. The investigation led Salazar’s chain of command to determine his use of force was greater than necessary and that he lied about what happened.