Two California Highway Patrol officers have recently been accused of stealing nude photos from arrestees’ cell phones, and texting them to each other. These two CHP officers have been involved in many DUI arrests. One of the officers, Robert Hazelwood, was suppose to testify in a DUI trial on Monday morning in Oakland, but the case was dismissed by the DA. It now appears that any case these officers were involved in the investigation and/or arrest must be thoroughly reviewed and potentially dismissed.
This is why it is important to fully investigate a criminal offense. These officers have no credibility if they are involved in activities such as these, which demonstrate their abuse of discretion as an authoritative figure. Officers are put in a position of trust, both by the public and in court. However, when evidence like this arises, it demonstrates that you can not presume an individual is credible just because they are an officer. Like any other profession, there are good ethical officers, and bad unethical officers. That is why it is critical to investigate every case thoroughly, because without a proper investigation, critical facts such as these are never uncovered.
Defense attorneys and the public are outraged by this violation of privacy exhibited by these officers. Even though this investigation started in early October; no one was made aware until now. As demeaning as this conduct was by the officers, it has also been a betrayal of trust to the public in not disclosing this information earlier and allowing these officers to continue working. Furthermore, the DA must now do the right thing and file charges against these officers, to show them and the public that no one is above the law.