Left three different law enforcement agencies within one year.
WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. – Newly obtained files show the aggressive police officer seen attacking a rail worker in the video had been previously arrested by his city employer for battery. He also held three different positions with three separate law enforcement departments in less than eight months.
Following several Freedom of Information Act requests by NEA Report, we received the personnel files of former Walnut Ridge Police Department Officer Matthew Mercado. With the video depicting Mercado both physically assaulting and verbally assaulting a railroad worker in an unmarked truck, questions from the public have emerged about Mercado, his employment, his background and more.
Arrested Two Years Prior in Walnut Ridge
The detail which stood out the most in the hundreds of pages of files we received was that Mercado reported he had been arrested by Walnut Ridge Police Department for third degree battery in 2014. The reported arrest was on June 10, 2014 by Captain Walrupe, according to Mercado’s written application. He states he was found not guilty and all money was refunded.
NEA Report has submitted a FOIA request for this arrest report and all files associated with it. We will follow-up on this in a separate story.
The second of the two most significant details found in the files were that he worked at three different law enforcement agencies in a span of about eight months. He was previously employed in Colorado by LaJunta Police Department from April 30, 2016 to May 24, 2016 – for less than one month. He was also employed by the Crowley County Sheriff’s Department from May 28, 2016 to August 4, 2016 – a span of a little over two months.
After leaving that job, he was not employed again until October, 2016 – as a pump technician for an oil company in Parachute, Colorado. He worked there for two months until December. His personnel file says he left it to, “relocate family back to Arkansas.”
He was hired by Walnut Ridge Police Department on December 15, 2016. It was merely 11 days after he was hired the incident took place with railroad worker Adam Finley.
Mercado said he felt like the most concerning social problem was the, “entitlement mentality.” This was under a section of the application related to attitudes on different topics.
Another addressed deadly force, when necessary.
“I have no reservations about using deadly force to protect the innocent, a fellow peace officer, or myself,” Mercado wrote. “I would also attempt to use non-deadly force if the situation permits.”
Mercado’s psychological evaluation was completed by Brad Williams, PH.D. Little Rock. In the evaluation, Williams wrote he felt Mercado was, “found to be free of any significant emotional or behavioral problems at this time in his life and is recommended for further participation in police work.”
At 7:46 AM on Feb. 7, 2017, Mercado resigned from Walnut Ridge Police Department through a text message to Chief of Police Chris Kirksey. In Kirksey’s attached letter, he wrote Mercado said he literally thought about it all night and decided to resign his position at WRPD, citing being able to provide for his children as the reason. He also stated he would like to think Kirksey would reconsider him as an applicant if a consolidation of Walnut Ridge and Hoxie were to happen.
“Morning Chief,” the text message began. “I’m sorry but I have thought about it and I am going to resign sir.”
Kirksey wrote glowing praise for Mercado in an email.
“I would like to take this time to thank you for the time you have spent with us as an employee and police officer at the Walnut Ridge Police Department,” Kirksey wrote. “You have truly stood out in a great light through the hard work you’ve displayed in the short time you spent here.”
Where did Brad Williams, PhD. get his diploma, out of a cereal box? And what about the HR Manager for the city? Did he/she even do a background check? Look at his spotty employment record. This officer is a psycho and a bully with a gun and a badge. The prosecutor and deputy prosecutor are incompetents, too – unless they are all in on a fine sharing scheme. Now, this is the type of department that the DOJ needs to look into. These hicks give good LEOs a bad name.
That about sums it up!
It’s Arkansas…. what did you expect?
Hey! Don’t make fun of my family. Just kidding!!!! I was thinking the same thing about it being Arkansas and expecting NOTHING less than what was shown. lol
Luckily this now aggressive “ex-cop” resigned before he shot and killed someone. He should never be employed in any authoritative position again. This cop gives all police a bad name. I’m an ex-cop too and would refuse to work with this POS.
Would you Tell him that? Or would the blue line take precedence?
Without the badge and gun he’s a out of control pos, that if he put hands on me, I’d fuck him up bad. Protect and serve isn’t in his vocabulary. Mother made him and motherfuck him.
I’m a woman about 5 feet nothing but I got a Louisville slugger with that SOB’s damn name on it.
You wouldn’t do anything but csll 911
You say that now, but the behavior of the Chief immediately after, as well as the email months after the incident shows that LEOs support each other, even when they are wrong. I have personally heard a LEO say they would not work with a “POS” and then continue to work with and protect a “POS”. The problem is the same guy I thought was a POS, the LEO didn’t see him that way.
Unfortunately he will probably end up in another department. He move around before he gets in serious trouble. He will most likely kill someone one day.
The police department is corrupt!
The newest dirty cop in hoxie the Chief of police Glen Smith, pawned his gun that yes belongs to the city of hoxie…claiming he “accidentally took the wrong gun ! OKAY WOW I think he should show proof that he actually had more than department issued weapon , he has been wearing that gun for way to many years.
This chief of police has had 3 yes 3 people turn states evidence on him, he was told he had to step down from his position.
Within 3 days he was once again the police chief? I know Lawrence county is the most corrupt place I have seen and experienced ? Now there is a shotgun missing from hoxie police department….supposedly there is a special police investigation department assigned to this case. How many mayors are just going to ignore all these things? It’s not like his solves crimes he commits more than he solves. It’s time to make him pay for his crimes, instead of doing as he pleases ! It’s sad that someone like him bust in peoples homes take what he wants and in some cases he puts the drugs in there homes and vehicles? One of the state evidence cases he was recorded telling the home owner “if I don’t find it this time I will bring it next visit as in planting drugs in their home, the wife had just put her phone on record and laid it down. Nothing was done about it even though the search was recorded. Come on a real investigation is way way past due !
I wouldn’t work with ANY of these foolish people. The HUGE issue is that the Chief (idiot) favored the other idiot and gave him a GLOWING review. So, when not if, he goes to the next PD and applies, Mercado will more than likely be hired again.
The mayor was told to write Mercado up ….for his fowl language (of all things) so he wrote “ do not use the word fuck while on duty !!!!!WTF we all no he should have been written up for more than the f word.
But mayor Charles snapp didn’t take any of it serious until the lawsuit was filed against all the clowns.
Ex-LEO here, this cop has some serious mental issues that he needs to address. He gives all LEO’s a bad name. If you’re afraid of your own shadow, or have an extreme insecurity complex, believe me, this isn’t the job for you. The days of Wyatt Earp “I am the law” are over, and they rightfully should be. Respect citizens, their rights, and The Constitution. And treat other how you would want them to treat yourself and your family. This Mercado guy is not only an embarrassment to the law enforcement community, but he’s an embarrassment to all humans.
It’s not just Mercado; the entire department is corrupt.
And the prosecutor is no less corrupt for demanding citations be filed just because the citizen wanted to file a complaint.
LEO needs to clean house. If LEO won’t, LEO should not be surprised if we start taking out the trash.
Oh, Mr. Wilson. That very last remark makes it sound like YOU are also a danger to society. And who is this WE, you speak of? Not okay man not okay.
Agreed ! They are openly making decisions according to who gets in trouble.
With the right last name or even a healthy bank account makes it all go away.
The prosecutor is a joke he goes on what the officer claims and practically does as told.
They don’t follow the LAWS they make them up it’s a pathetic place to live.
Good Evening, I was assaulted in an incident in 1987 by an officer who acted a lot like Mercado did in this traffic stop. The officer was clearly unstable and beat me fairly severely. I was then charged with resisting arrest, interfering with a police officer performing duties and assault of a police officer. I was a skinny 19 year old kid on my way to a job interview. At the time I weighed 140 lbs @ 5’10” the cop was 6-1 240 lbs. the assault was witnessed by one officer and the cops erratic behavior along with my extensive injuries was witnessed by many officers at the station. TO A MAN they all lied in court to protect him. I was found guilty and appealed to a higher court which looked at the many assaults inthe cop’s past and found me innocent of all charges. My point? I have a couple; for one; I’m now 53 and still nervous when a cop is behind me. If pulled over, my nervousness is apparent because my hands shake, because of this I’m immediately suspected of wrongdoing.
Secondly besides physical pain : the mentally ill cop really wasn’t the problem. Without other officers backing his play, he would have been dealt with accordingly after his first assault and I’d have never heard of him. The officers that know about, allow and cover for this horrible behavior are, to me, a much larger problem. Albert Einstein said: “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”
I feel the same when a cop pulls up behind me. You know in your heart that they can do anything they want.Cameras have helped but things still happen as we see daily in the news.Like on officer said in a reply..if you’re scared or nervous,it’s not the job for you.
I have full praise for the officers that follow the law calmly.Lord knows they deal with a lot of jerks daily.Please don’t protect the rotten ones.They tear down our trust.
Thank god you had the resources to appeal the court verdict and continue higher up the food chain. Sadly, few would have the resources.
your absolutely right, cops protecting cops? is it a disease that if they tell the truth there tounge and tallywhacker will fall off?
no it’s so the same will be done for them if need be,
just like I said before, think of all the shit LEO got away with before body cams and video recording. a lot of innocent people got wrongfully convicted and murdered by these POS law unforcment punks.not enforcment/unforcment
Ex Leos always say this. But when you were on the job I’ll bet you closed your eyes to police corruption and brutality like an obedient “team player” Nazi, just like all cops. You’re filth and the police are filth, nothing but psychopathic control freaks and power mad thugs.
Sad fact is this country is saturated with Bully, Ego maniac, Power corrupted cops, that should never be wearing a badge, they need to be purged from the ranks, by whatever means required.
Yep, I agree.i bet he bullies his parents. He has no respect for himself or anyone else
It’s cops like this that give LE a bad name. If pd’s want real change, clean up police unions & get rid of the blue code of covering each other’s backs no matter what. PD’s are akin to prison justice and the unwritten Mafia rules!
Lets see how tough this guy is now without his badge to hide behind.
You guys be sure to leave a 1 star review for this Brad Williams PHD in Little Rock. He enabled this.
Good suggestion and I literally did just that.
We need a national registry of bad cops and ex cops and track them like sex offenders so they can never get a job in law enforcement again.
Matthew Mercado appears to be psychotic in the video on YouTube. I hope he lost his commission. Completely unprofessional. He cannot seem to work anywhere without problems.
Notice it’s always “ex-cops” who comment on these stories. Never current ones.
We need police and they need our support 24/7 but bad officers like bad laws help no one and need the boot for like drug dealers or molesters on the playground can destroy a life in the blink of an eye
At times police get it wrong as we all do but is this one of those times it seems that the Body and dash video units that were supposed to help police take bad people off the streets are doing just that.
Police officer has no right to use words or act as he did and for his police chief to act as if the officer was doing his job and this man was out of control at best poor police work and at worst a molester out of control and a first class disservice to all that work in the job and put their life on the line each day
Its a first class slap in the face of all vets like those in WW2 who never made it off the beaches on D Day and last but not lease to our Foundering Fathers who risk life and limb for Freedom from a out of control Government / King and his Police / Redcoats who did as they wish in the name of the LAW
We need police and for good reason but after the death of Mr. Brown and body video units have become SOP for many police units officers who have abused their power from incidents like this to the shooting have been put on the forefront of the news and can no longer hide as they once did
At times all we can do is work for a better world for those to come like our Foundering Fathers, Dr. King, the three kids killed in Mississippi by the KKK did for if not our streets could become a no man’s land was Hop, Trust Respect and Dreams did a slow death
For when those in power abuse it we all lose one could wonder if this officer and police chiff thank his words would be ok in a school setting like Sandy Hook or have no place in a school
Less hope this video helps other officer to become better officer for we need police and they need our support 24/7
The police are part of a corrupt system. You cannot fix a systemic problem by waiting for the police to harm an innocent person. The whole culture needs to be revamped. Start be eliminating police unions so bad cops can be fired, next train officers to view suspects as innocent until proven guilty Vs. their current training which is to presume guilty until proven innocent. The entire police force is corrupt systemically which means a radical change needs to occur, a complete dissolution of the current system and replacement by a new culture consisting of innocence until proven guilty, de-escalation techniques, and a cultural shift where the words “serve and protect” are re-introduced as a mission statement for all police and that they are taught the meaning of those words as they were originally intended. The “thin blue line” is a culture we need to revamp before more more innocent citizens lives are destroyed by this hideous crime syndicate known as law enforement.
The police officers and ex-police officers who posted about this guy, ALWAYS turn away when there is a bad cop, don’t kid yourself. I was in a victim of a bad police officer who was crooked and when I tried to contact about 5 other cops that saw it, none could be found. I left messages with all of them and they were never returned. I just had to drop it. Cops have been doing this stuff since the beginning of time and the reason they keep doing it is because they have got along with it forever. If it weren’t for the body camera this guy wouldn’t have a case. How they all stuck together is the way it always is in every story.
American cops are sadistic war-zone trained atrocity committing psychopaths. it is only right to hope for the worst to happen to them.
hey Mercado run and hide motherfucker
Legislation needs to be passed that once a moronic individual like Mercado loses his job for abuse he is prohibited from being an officer anywhere. Don’t tell me it’s not possible. DUI records are shared from state to state so a abusive officers can be shared also. This guy is a time bomb waiting to explode and he creates a problem for every officer who treats the public with respect. Most importantly this Chief is a big part of the problem. He should resign or be fired. If he praises a cop like this then there’s a good chance he has more on his department just like Mercado.
Did you ever notice the smaller the town clown peon is, the bigger psychopath he is? Billy Bob from po dunk pulled over a typical hard working person for nothing and somehow interpreted his victim following all his instructions as crimes and a threat to his safety. There ya go. Probably not a good idea to give psychopaths guns and turn them loose on the street. But I’m not a shrink, what do I know.
Why didnt the guys jacket mean something to the cop? BNSF means he works for the railroad and he has ID from BNSF. mercado said he was watching (the railroad worker) not working. Who made mercado the hall monitor about who was working where and when. mercado mercado mercado liar liar liar. chief kirkey belongs in the same cell as mercado.
Doj needs to investigate this hick town
This guy is a monster. I hope his wife and children are safe. To move to three different agencies within ONLY EIGHT MONTHS and be arrested for battery AND then also cost a city $57,000 for excessive force in a single year means this guy is wayyyyyyy beyond out of control. Sickens me that the WRPD still loved this guy. Two peas in a pod I guess.
11 days in the job he does this. 2 months in the job in total and the chief is praising him. It’s not a bad apple problem, it’s a culture problem.
i thought the same! just proves the whole legal establishment is rotten and corrupt!
11 days on the job, I think he was just starting to get comfortable and into the swing of things, he was on a rush and a high that his recent move from Colorado had worked out, and he was ready for that adrenaline rush of pushing people around.
He was only just ramping up for his cowboy “hang ’em high” days with this police dept. Luckily he got stopped out before killing some innocent motorist or random restaurant patron who looked at him the wrong way.