Police Accountability Report: Episode 83 – LRN.fm
This week, a couple stories that should cause anyone critically thinking to see that those wearing badges aren’t always operating with the best intentions.
Former Kingsville police corporal indicted on charge of sexual abuse of child
A former Kingsville, Texas police corporal was indicted on a charge of sexual abuse of a child.
David Cerda was indicted on continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14 years old, according to the Kleberg County District Clerk’s Office.
He is being held at the Kleberg County Jail on $100,000 bail.
An investigation began after a girl at Ricardo Elementary School told her teacher she had been touched inappropriately.
Cerda, a six-year veteran of the department, was a patrol officer working a night shift, officials said. He was arrested in April at the Police Department and resigned effective immediately.
District Attorney John Hubert would not comment on the case saying there is no gag order, but he wanted to be fair to the state and defense and didn’t want to release information that could taint a jury.
Charges against former Trenton cop will go before a grand jury
Charges against a former cop in Trenton, NJ will go before a grand jury in the next few months, which will determine if he is to be indicted on aggravated assault charges for his alleged role in a bar brawl in 2011.
The case against Mylon Kelsey was on hold while an appellate court was deciding if the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office could request that Kelsey produce a flashlight they believe to be the weapon used in the alleged assault. Kelsey was suspended following a probe of the incident.
The court said that Kelsey could not be asked to produce the flashlight because doing so could violate his right against self-incrimination.
Prosecutors alleged that Kelsey, who was at the time a Trenton police officer, was off duty at the TriNaNog Bar on Hamilton Avenue in Trenton on Jan, 17, 2011, when a fight broke out outside the bar. The fight was reported to Hamilton Township Police who responded to the scene at about 1 a.m. According to court documents, one caller told a dispatcher that one of the men in the fight was using a flashlight as a weapon. No arrests were made and no charges were filed in connection with the fight at that time.
The next day, after it was reported that some of the participants in the fight were off-duty officers, Trenton police initiated an internal investigation into the incident.
Four victims and two eyewitnesses were interviewed as part of the investigation. They said that one man was wielding a flashlight and struck two people in the head with it, causing concussions. The witnesses told police that the man carried the flashlight to a car.
Investigators got a search warrant for Kelsey’s car in which they found an empty flashlight box, but no flashlight.
A Superior Court judge had initially ruled that Kelsey would have to give the prosecutors the flashlight, but when his attorney asked for a reconsideration of that decision, the judge overturned the ruling, saying Kelsey did not have to produce the flashlight..
Assistant Prosecutor Stephanie Katz said she plans to present the case to grand jury in the near future.
In addition to criminal charges, Kelsey is also one of the targets of a civil lawsuit filed by the alleged victims in the incident. Also named in the suit is the City of Trenton, the Trenton Police Department and the owners of the bar. The suit also names Officers Jason Astbury, Frederick Bender, Thomas Connell and Michael Schiaretti, alleging that they were also involved in the incident.
That’s this week’s Police Accountability Report brought to you by CopBlock.org.
Until next week, stay safe and remember that badges don’t grant extra rights.