2021 1st Qtr

Citizen Complaints against Officers
2021 1st Quarter

All citizen complaints against officers are documented and investigated by the department’s supervisors. Once the investigation is complete, it is reviewed by the Section Commander, Division Commander and then forwarded to the Office of the Chief where the decision is made as to the finding of the complaint. Complaints questioning the basis for a citation or arrest are not documented and those complainants are advised to go through the court system.

There are four different categories of complaint findings:

  • Sustained - The investigation produced a preponderance of evidence to prove the allegation did in fact occur and the action of the officer was improper.
  • Not Sustained - The investigation failed to produce a preponderance of evidence to either prove or disprove the allegation.
  • Exonerated - The allegation in fact did occur but the actions of the officer were legal, justified, proper, and in accordance with the law and the department’s policies and procedures.
  • Unfounded - The allegation in fact did not occur, based on the evidence.

During this quarter, there were four citizen’s complaints against officers. The findings for these complaints are as follows:

  1. On 1/25/21, a citizen filed a complaint of sexual misconduct by an officer.  The citizen claimed the officer offered to not charge her with a crime in return for a sexual favor.  An investigation into this complaint was conducted.  The encounter was recorded and multiple officers were present during the initial investigation where the allegation was alleged to have occurred.  The audio recording from the encounter was clear and at no time did the allegations by the citizen occur.  There was no sexual misconduct and the incident is unfounded.
  2. On 2/1/21, a citizen was arrested.  She complained that she was injured by the handcuffs.  An investigation was conducted.  The investigation showed that she complained about the handcuffs to the officer who checked them and loosened them.  They were properly applied and double-locked.  The citizen admitted that she had carpal tunnel syndrome that she has not attempted to remedy.  The officer was exonerated.
  3. On 2/17/21, a citizen complained that an Animal Control Officer for unsafe driving, specifically speeding and “road rage” like behavior.  An investigation into the complaint was conducted.  There was video from the traffic lights where the allegation occurred and AVL data from the AC vehicle which showed that the AC officer was driving appropriately, did not tailgate or follow the citizen and was not speeding.  In fact, they were travelling under the posted speed limit.  This complaint was unfounded.   
  4. On 3/10/21, a citizen filed a complaint against officers for injuring his shoulder during an arrest.  An investigation into the complaint was conducted.  The investigation revealed that the citizen was the suspect of a stolen gun call.  He had fled officers earlier in the day.  He was later called in as trespassing at a business and officers recognized him as the suspect from the earlier gun call.  They moved in to arrest him and realized that he had unusually short arms.  They used two sets of handcuffs daisy chained together to create a “longer” handcuff and placed him under arrest.  The suspect was disorderly and belligerent with officers.  They attempted to help him off a bench to take him to a squad car and he kicked at the officers, forcing them to place him on the ground to regain control.  The officer’s audio showed them to be polite and professional.  The suspect’s actions forced the officers to place him on the ground and they had legal authority to do so.  The officers were exonerated of this complaint.