A California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer has been put on desk duty during an investigation of his alleged wrongdoing: he apparently stole nude photographs of a woman from her iPhone while booking her in jail and sent said photos to another officer.
The CHP officer probably would have gotten away with it too if the send hadn’t been synced on the victim’s iPad. She saw on her iPad that six of her photos had been sent from her iPhone to an unknown number—the number of arresting CHP officer Sean Harrington.
Who knows how often these kinds of things happen. It’s yet another example of a CHP officer vastly overstepping the bounds of law enforcement and preying on citizens for personal gain:
During questioning, Harrington admitted to sharing the photos of the San Ramon woman and did the same thing to other female arrestees a “half a dozen times in the last several years,” court records obtained by the Contra Costa Times revealed.
Harrington, who has worked with the CHP for five years, said he sent the photos to fellow officer Robert Hazelwood.
CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said the allegations “anger and disgust” him.
Anger and disgust is an appropriate response. You would hope that surprise would also be an emotion involved, but that’s probably too much to ask. Frankly, I’m not surprised. The culture that has been cultivated in law enforcement in general, and the CHP in particular, encourages this kind of behavior. The biggest encouragement of this behavior is the fact that police officers are not immediately terminated when they admit to it.
As soon as this officer admitted to stealing private photos and trading them with other officers, pretty much everyone involved should have been fired immediately. But they weren’t. I would actually be surprised if this officer weren’t on the road again in a few months terrorizing other California citizens. And that’s really what fills me with anger and disgust.