I think, if anyone ever really looked at the subject of empty hand/stick training for local and probably state level LE in the US, the real scandal is not so much the quality as the quantity.
Basically, cadets receive it (whatever "it" is) at the academy and that's it. No more. Notice the article said the guy was a recruit.
In the "real world", training dollars follow the highest liability risk. Nowdays, that's bad shootings and collateral damage from high-speed chases.
Firearms training? Academy. Probably re-qualify once a year.
Emergency vehicle? Academy MUST PASS. MAYBE some periodic follow up.
Empty hand or w/stick? Academy familiarization - that's it.
So, in a nutshell, their training is about like a novice going to a "self-defense" seminar... though it might be a multi-day seminar in a police academy. But, once it's over it stops. You're free to make your own assessment of that kind of effectiveness.
"...But consultants hired by the department after Carty's death recommended the drill be eliminated because it caused too many head injuries and did not involve realistic situations...."
If you accept "fight like you train" as a doctrine, justifying this drill is probably very difficult. My guess is that this Texas DPS drill was probably no more than a rite of passage hazing, thinly disguised as something useful. Cops don't use boxing to arrest people. Their mission is to secure people, and beating them down is very risky, PR and liability wise. A cop getting into a boxing situation on the street indicates a situation well out of control.
"...The department also banned all other exercises that involve hitting or other hard contact between trainees."
At face value, this is just a typical dumb government over reaction. We (here) have been over this subject soooo many times. There HAS to be resistance training for effectiveness. And just because LE are not supposed to respond to a punch with a punch, it doesn't mean being prepared to receive one is worthless.
But keep in mind that the media is the source of all this "information".