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.
Police Officer in YouTube Video Placed on Paid Leave
An officer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is now on paid administrative leave, after being recorded during a traffic stop.
The YouTube video, which has gotten thousands of views, shows the officer react angrily after rear-ending a motorcycle.
The officer will be on paid administrative leave until LVMPD completes an internal investigation.
The motorcyclist, John Paul Rosario, had a video camera attached to his helmet.
Rosario was never issued a ticket by the officer and is glad the police department has taken action.
But, he thinks paid administrative leave is pretty generous for what he describes as “uncalled for aggression by an officer.”
Former Officer Pleads Not Guilty to Sexual Abuse
This past week, a former Madison police officer charged with sexual abuse pleaded not guilty.
A Limestone County, Alabama grand jury indicted William Watson on 17 counts of sexual abuse.
Investigators said he abused four young girls.
Investigators say they found four victims. Watson faces nine counts of sexually abusing a child under 12 involving three of the victims. The charges involving the fourth victim include four counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12 and four counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 16.
Watson was placed on administrative leave. Police say he resigned from the department in August, 2012.
The judge set a trial date for April 29.
Former Officer Pleads Guilty To Soliciting Sexual Favors
A former Pittsburgh Police officer, Adam Skweres, pleaded guilty this week to charges that he tried to extort sexual favors from several women in return for legal help.
He was immediately handcuffed and taken to prison where he will serve 3 ½- to 8 years.
After that, he will be on probation for 10 years and will have to register as a sex offender.
Skweres would not have had the ability to commit such crimes were it not for the popular misconception that it is possible for an individual, or a group of people, to have legitimate authority over other individuals.
Last March, one of the victims, Sarah Smith, testified that she was driving with a suspended license in 2008 when she was involved in an automobile accident.
During her testimony, she said: “He [Adam Skweres] said paperwork can disappear and get lost. Pretty young thing like you can do a lot for a guy like me. It would take 20 to 30 minutes of your time.”
She continued, “He said what I do to you won’t be as bad as what they’ll do to you in prison. You say anything you’ll never walk or breathe again.”
Two of the other victims offered similar testimony.
After those charges, a fifth woman came forward and accused Skweres of ordering her to strip naked and perform sexual favors to get out of having to testify against her boyfriend, who was facing charges in a bar fight.
Skweres is concerned about his safety – as a former police officer – and may choose to serve his sentence in solitary confinement if he believes he’s at risk of being attacked by other inmates.
Until next week, stay safe and remember that badges don’t grant extra rights.