2022 1st Qtr
Citizen Complaints against Officers
2022 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 five citizen’s complaint against officers. The findings for that complaint is as follows:
- On 1/10/2022, a citizen filed a complaint that they were improperly detained by officers based on his race. An investigation into the complaint was conducted. A review of the incident, and of the video / audio from the incident showed that the officer was responding to a burglary in progress. The citizen was seen walking away from the victim residence on the sidewalk. The officer ordered the person to stop and they refused and were non-compliant. The officer then detained the person based on reasonable suspicion. Upon discovering the person was not involved, they were released. The officer acted under the color of South Dakota law and department policy and procedure. This complaint was unfounded.
- On 1/12/2022, a citizen filed a complaint that he had been denied medical care by the police after he had requested it. An investigation into the complaint was conducted. The citizen said he had requested medical care because he had been drugged while out drinking. The review of the call for service and the audio / video from the incident showed that the citizen had ambulance personnel check him twice. He was uncooperative with them and never made mention of being drugged. The citizen was eventually arrested and never mentioned being drugged during the transport or booking processes. The citizen was never denied medical care and the complaint was unfounded.
- On 2/7/2022, a citizen filed a complaint that his 5th Amendment rights had been violated by an officer. An investigation into this complaint was conducted. A review of the call for service, as well as the audio / video of the incident showed that the officer on the call for service was investigating a reported vandalism that the citizen was a suspect of. The citizen was detained after attempting to leave the scene. At no point did the officer violate any of the citizen’s Constitutional rights. The detention and investigation was based on reasonable suspicion in accordance with state law and department policy and procedure. The complaint was unfounded.
- On 3/7/2022, a citizen filed a complaint of excessive force being used by officers. An investigation into the complaint was conducted. The citizen complained they had injuries and showed bruising on their arm that was allegedly caused by arresting officers. A review of the calls for service, audio and video from the incident showed that the citizen was arrested for several crimes. She was uncooperative and attempted to assault officers. Officers used the minimum amount of force necessary to control the citizen. The citizen, when being transported from the squad car to the booking area, collapsed under their own weight and forced officers to carry them by the arms into the booking area. Their actions necessitated this. At no time did the officers use any excessive force. They operated under state law and department policy and procedure. This complaint was unfounded.
- On 3/14/2022, a citizen filed a complaint that he was harassed by officers. An investigation into the complaint was conducted. A review of the call for service, audio, and video from the incident revealed that officers were dispatched to a possible intoxicated driver call. Officers located the vehicle and driver, conducted a traffic stop and DWI investigation. The investigation revealed the driver was not intoxicated and the citizen was released. The officers were acting under state law and department policy and procedure. Their actions were appropriate and the complaint of harassment was unfounded.