City Completes Internal Affairs Investigation
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December 16, 2013
The City of Tallahassee today released the Tallahassee Police Department’s 420 page internal affairs investigation report involving the arrest of Ms. Christina West on August 10, 2013. The report found that officers complied with policies and training as they relate to the appropriate use of force while it also mirrors many of the recommendations of the Leon County Grand Jury Presentment. The recommendations addressed officer conduct, the need to seek medical attention prior to transporting Ms. West to the Leon County Jail, and the need for more detailed writing in the police report. As a result of the investigation, the officers and supervisors involved were suspended without pay from two days to two weeks.
The report concluded the following:
Officer Chris Ormerod was found to be in violation of rules of conduct during the arrest of Ms. West, failing to provide appropriate medical aid to Ms. West and improper documentation in his original report. He received a suspension without pay for 80 hours.
Officer Matthew Smidt was found to be in violation of rules of conduct during the arrest of Ms. West and for failing to provide appropriate medical aid to Ms. West. He received a suspension without pay for 40 hours.
Sergeant George Creamer was found to be in violation of standard operating procedure in this case, as he did not question the officers in his charge about Ms. West’s injuries. He was also reprimanded for not providing medical treatment to Ms. West. He received a suspension without pay for 20 hours.
Sergeant William Faust was found to be in violation of standard operating procedure in this case, as he did not question officers who were on scene about Ms. West’s injuries. He was also reprimanded for not providing medical treatment to Ms. West and for failing to correct missing information in Officer Ormerod’s original report. He received a suspension without pay for 20 hours.
“This report provides a very thorough and detailed accounting of what took place during the arrest of Ms. West, with almost 30 individuals interviewed and all of the facts provided," said Interim Police Chief Tom Coe. "Based on initial findings and this report, we have already made and will continue to make changes in our training, as well as ensuring our officers understand that their words and actions represent our entire department. Even in stressful situations, we must demonstrate quality and professionalism in every action. The suspensions I have implemented address that issue as well as several policy revisions related to prompt medical assistance and report writing.”
“We will use the findings of this report, as well as the grand jury's report, to continue to improve this department as we work to ensure citizen trust and confidence," Coe added.
The complete internal affairs report is available here.
David Northway, TPD Public Information Office, (850) 891-4255
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