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.
Story #1 In Lawsuit, Emmaus Woman Claims Bethlehem Cop Slammed into Her Car, Blamed Her for Crash
An Emmaus woman is suing the city of Bethlehem and its police department, saying an officer sped through a red light and crashed into her car, then blamed her for the crash.
Amber Krasley, 28, filed the lawsuit in Lehigh County Court on December 31st, a month after a Bethlehem district judge cleared her in the crash.
The lawsuit names the city, the police department and Officer William Audelo.
According to the lawsuit, filed by attorney Kevin Boylan:
Krasley had a “steady green light” as she was approaching the intersection of West Third Street and Brodhead Avenue in Bethlehem in her vehicle around 2:23 a.m. September 15th.
Audelo, “responding as a backup to a routine traffic stop,” sped toward the intersection in his police vehicle “with no emergency lights or sirens turned on and had a steady red light.”
Krasley’s vehicle was then “violently struck by defendant Audelo’s police SUV.”
The lawsuit says Audelo did not activate his emergency siren and “only activated his emergency lights a split second before striking” Krasley.
A witness, who almost got hit herself, has confirmed Krasley’s account.
After the collision, Krasley was subjected to a field sobriety test and blood alcohol test while she was “obviously shaken by what had just happened.”
Bethlehem police failed to turn the investigation over to a neutral third party and “conducted an extremely biased investigation with the hopes of pinning the blame for the accident” on Krasley.
Court records show police charged Krasley with failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, a summary offense.
Krasley was found not guilty by District Judge Nancy Matos Gonzalez after a November 14th summary trial.
The crash caused Krasley to suffer a concussion, post-concussive syndrome, mild cognitive impairment, anxiety, depression and neck, shoulder and back injuries.
The lawsuit seeks more than $50,000 in damages.
Story #2 Polk Deputy Accused of Forcing Arrested Women to Take Clothes Off
A Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputy was arrested this past Wednesday, accused of forcing arrested women to take their clothes off and let him touch them.
Julio Jose Garcia, 26, was charged with unlawful compensation/reward for official behavior, use/display of a firearm during a felony offense and falsifying an official record/document by a public servant.
“Garcia is not worthy to wear the Sheriff’s Office uniform and he never will again,” said Sheriff Grady Judd.
The investigation into Garcia started November 4th when a woman told detectives the deputy promised her special treatment if she exposed her body or let him touch her body.
After the initial complaint, deputies began reviewing Garcia’s contact with other women he arrested and found at least one additional victim that Garcia allegedly propositioned.
“When we learned of the first allegation, we immediately initiated an investigation, sought other possible victims, and then conducted undercover surveillance,” Judd said. “Despite our best efforts, on rare occasions an employee will disappoint us and the communities we serve.”
I hope you’ll take a moment to consider just what it is that you are paying for via taxation – and speak out against the corruption. Until next week, stay safe and remember that badges don’t grant extra rights.