A California cop responding to a call about a fender bender refused to take a man’s side of the story because the man insisted on video recording the conversation.
Simi Valley police officer Corey Baker told the man identified as Jeff Knapp in the video that he had every right to record him, but he, as a cop, had every right not to take the report unless Knapp turned the camera off.
In other words, he needed as much room to manipulate the truth without the annoying presence of a camera to hold him accountable.
We should expect more from a cop who has led the department in making DUI arrests during the past two years. After all, it was only last year that a Utah state trooper was fired after leading the department in DUI arrests, when evidence emerged indicating she falsified many of those cases.
So transparency is key. Especially from a cop who receives more than $174,000 in pay and benefits to serve the community. The people deserve better, especially for the money they are paying.
The video was posted on June 7, 2014, but has only received less than 300 views as of this writing.
And while the Supreme Court has ruled that police do not have a Constitutional duty to protect citizens, you would think they have a departmental duty to do their job despite the fact somebody might want to record the interaction.
A similar incident took place in Pennsylvania last year where a Lancaster police officer claimed departmental policy forbade him from taking an accident report while on camera, which turned out to be a lie and forced the department to issue a public apology.
I wonder if the Simi Valley Police Department will do the same. Call them at (805) 583-6950. Or leave a comment on their Facebook page.
UPDATE: Baker is the only police officer in the Simi Valley Police Department that made more in overtime than he did in base salary in 2012, according to an online database that lists all the cops from that department, indicating that he is milking the system for all he can, which probably explains all those DUI arrests.
Perhaps Lt. Stephanie Shannon, who oversees internal affairs and made $122,376.78 but with zero overtime pay, should look into that considering how he didn’t feel the need to spend any extra time interviewing all parties involved in the fender bender.