The president of the San Antonio Police Officers Association equated an officer's use of the N-word to Mayor Ron Nirenberg using the word "goddamn."

On Friday, the Express-News examined several cases in which officers fired for serious misconduct were returned to the force by third-party arbitrators.

One of the officers, Tim Garcia, had been fired after he was heard on a body camera in 2018 repeatedly calling a handcuffed prisoner the N-word. An arbitrator reduced Garcia’s punishment to a 10-month suspension and he is now back on patrol.

On Arbitrators excuse allegations of racism in police

Mike Helle, president of the police union, told the newspaper that the attempted firing was a "case in point" of Chief William McManus trying to "rule as if he’s a monarch."

Garcia said, "'Look, I shouldn’t have said it, it was a lapse in my moment,'" Helle said. "And if anybody knows a lapse in a moment when they lose their composure, our mayor (Ron Nirenberg) said the exact same offensivelike cuss word when he used the word G-D (goddamn) when he was on TV in front of the entire crowd and audience, right?"

In early June, Nirenberg told a crowd in San Antonio protesting police violence to hold him accountable, saying, "I'm the mayor of this goddamn city and we're going to make change together."

The Express-News asked Helle whether he really believes the word used by Nirenberg is as offensive as the N-word,

"For me, yes, it is," Helle said. "Why don’t you go ask one of our pastors or anybody that that’s their faith?"

Click here to read the full Express-News investigation into arbitrators excusing allegations of racism in police.