Texas officer accused of insubordination after releasing man accused of stealing food

Posted at 8:11 PM, Dec 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-12 04:15:42-05

The officer thought he was showing compassion for someone less fortunate, instead the officer's job is in jeopardy after he released a shoplifting suspect last week who tried to steal food and a drink from a Texas Walmart. 

According to WFAA-TV, an unidentified Kaufman, Texas Police sergeant has been placed on leave as the department conducts an insubordination investigation.

NBC-Dallas reported that the sergeant was identified as Sgt. Nick Stevens.

According to a press release, the shoplifting suspect told the sergeant that he had not eaten in two days. The sergeant decided to release the suspect, and gave the hungry shoplifter some money to buy food. The sergeant opted to issue a warning.

“He didn’t rob anyone at gunpoint, he was a young guy who was literally hungry,” the sergeant's daughter Kelsey Stevens told WFAA. “It was a turkey leg, a Gatorade, and that was it.”

Despite the police department commending Stevens for his act of kindness, the department told WFAA in that Walmart wanted to press charges. 

When Stevens disagreed about pressing charges, a superior accused the officer of insubordination, WFAA reported.

"When a victim of crime, in this instance, the business, states that they want to pursue charges against someone for the criminal act of which they are a victim, the department is obligated to do so," the Kaufman Police said in a statement posted on the department's Facebook page. 

“He told me if he feels what he’s doing is morally right—then he is going to stand up for that…even if it’s at his own risk,” Stevens told WFAA.