An FWPD spokesperson released a public statement on the officer two hours after the Weekly asked about him. Courtesy of Facebook

Two hours after I described the details of an internal investigation to the Fort Worth police, an FWPD spokesperson released a public statement about the investigation to numerous media outlets, perhaps attempting to avoid criticism for not acknowledging the alleged infraction sooner. 

“In January, the Fort Worth police department received a complaint alleging Sgt. Rod Martin destroyed evidence while he was working in an off-duty capacity,” FWPD said. “Administrative and criminal investigations were immediately initiated, and he was placed on restricted duty and stripped of all police powers pending the outcome of these investigations. The Fort Worth police department takes these allegations very seriously and will work diligently to ensure all facts are obtained and scrutinized closely.” 

According to a source who wishes to remain anonymous to protect their privacy, a patient at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital needed help with his computer and asked a nurse. The nurse discovered photos of child pornography and alerted Martin, who was working off-duty security. Martin allegedly deleted the photos and returned the computer to the patient. 


Martin filed a report about the incident, according to an open records request I filed. In the report, Martin states that he was alerted to the images by a nurse but does not say whether or not he deleted them. The confidential source alleges that the officer may have deleted tens of thousands of photos.

“My concern is [FWPD] will ‘investigate’ this, issue a disciplinary action, and be done, which, to me, is absolutely unacceptable,” the source told me. 

In June, the Weekly reported on the investigation of former deputy police Chief Michael Shedd. Fort Worth police tried to hide details about the investigation by appealing our open records request to the State Attorney General’s office (“Closed Records,” June 2021). Shedd was investigated for sexual harassment, a confidential source told us, and the former deputy police chief retired shortly after the June article was published. In Tarrant County, powerful officials are frequently offered retirement as an alternative to outright termination. 

Were it not for the 2020 efforts of the grassroots group No Sleep Until Justice DFW, Fort Worthians would have little grasp of the extent of disciplinary actions taken against officers who were investigated for documented instances of illegal searches, excessive force, lying, and theft, among other violations (“Large Document Reveals Misconduct by Fort Worth Police,” Nov. 2020).  

At the time, No Sleep Until Justice president Thomas Moore said, “Fort Worth police department does not hold their officers accountable in an appropriate manner, which undermines the public trust in police, wastes taxpayer money, and keeps everyone less safe.” 

The confidential source who alerted me about the Martin investigation alleges that low-ranking officers are frequently disciplined or terminated for minor offenses to appease politicians and the public while infractions and potentially criminal acts committed by high-ranking officers are hidden by FWPD’s office of internal affairs and their media team.