Controversial arrests prompt firing of Saint Jo police officer

By: Morgan Downing Email
By: Morgan Downing Email

SAINT JO, TX -- Last month we brought you the story of a Saint Jo couple who said they were treated unfairly by police, and it was all caught on camera. Tonight, new developments after yet another controversial arrest involving the same couple and same officers.

Dozens of concerned residents attended a city council meeting Wednesday to speak out.

Officer Gary Amburn was fired and the Mayor says Chief Billy Reynolds is expected to turn in his letter of resignation.

Dozens of Saint Jo residents filled Wednesday night's city council meeting for a second time to voice their concerns about Chief Billy Reynolds and officer Gary Amburn.

"We've got the worst police department that I've ever seen," Lewis McPherson said.

"I think that they don't try to diffuse the problem, that they escalate it," Annie Nunneley said.

Last month's arrest of Jon and Natalie Nunneley angered residents. But after a second arrest last week, residents had had enough.

In this surveillance video you can see Jon Nunneley and officer Gary Amburn, who is not in police uniform and in his personal vehicle. The two exchange words, Nunneley walks inside to pay for his gas while Amburn waits outside for him. When he comes out, you can see the off duty officer yell at Nunneley. He puts him against the truck and appears to choke him. Lewis McPherson witnessed it all.

"He kept trying to go back in his pick up and this Gary kept provoking him you know," Mcpherson said.

Nunneley was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

"To me he was very unprofessional," McPherson said.

Gary Amburn was placed on adminstrative leave after arresting Nunneley the second time.

The council discussed reported complaints about Amburn's behavior at his past two policing jobs.

"It makes me question the hiring practices of the city of Saint Jo, and whether or not they did any type of background checks. Because I think if they would have and seeing his record and also his work history that they probably would have never hired him. I would have hoped that," Nunneley said.

Mayor Dustin Anderson says they will be more strict in the hiring process of future police officers.


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