Cell phone video of fake arrest released

September 27, 2010 9:06:10 PM PDT
Exclusive video captures the minutes leading up to a cop's fake arrest of a San Jose teenager who had sex with his stepdaughter. The big question is does it show an officer abusing his authority or a father concerned about his teenage stepdaughter having sex with another minor?

The video clip was obtained by ABC7's media partner the San Jose Mercury News. ABC7 has blurred the faces to protect the identities of those involved.

The attorney for the officer says the video shows a very controlled person who strongly objects to the underage sex that was taking place. The parents who took the cell phone video say that the officer entered their home with his uniform, using his badge and handcuffs without their permission.

The father took the video and now the family wants the video released saying it shows a San Jose police officer abused his authority when he found out their son had sex with the officer's 14-year-old stepdaughter.

"Growing up, being in high school. A cop's daughter is not someone you mess around with," said the cop.

The family's attorney, Tony Boskovich, says the officer showed up unannounced and took their son into a separate room.

"They heard noise, they heard a thud and when they got in there, they saw their son on the floor, in handcuffs getting up," said Boskovich.

The video segment ABC7 reviewed is five minutes and 37 seconds long. ABC7 spoke with the officer's attorney, Terry Bowman, right after she watched the cell phone video for the first time. She says it shows a concerned father who was given permission to use "scare straight" tactics.

"At no time did you hear the parents of the young man objecting, getting upset, crying. So the video is absolutely exculpatory from the cop's perspective," said Bowman.

Bowman points to an early portion of the video in which the boy's father speaks up while his son is in handcuffs.

"Use your head. Think about what he is talking to you about. Listen to his words. Replay them in your head," said the father.

The family's attorney says the officer threatened the teenager numerous times and crossed the line in using his position as an officer to settle a domestic matter.

"It does not bode well for you. Do you know what that means? No? Not a good thing that the person you had sex with is a cop's daughter. The District Attorney will probably file charges," said the cop.

San Jose police did say on Wednesday that both juveniles were cited for having sex with a minor. Those citations are likely in the hands of juvenile probation as a possible referral to the district attorney's office. The district attorney says she is reviewing the case to see if the officer involved faces any criminal charges.

The officer's actions have also unnerved his department. On Friday night, the police chief said he is considering new rules about how cops interact with people they know.

An internal investigation is going on, the district attorney's office is looking into all of this and the police department is now creating new code of conduct procedures.

ABC7 showed the video clip to the independent police auditor. Judge LaDoris Cordell couldn't comment directly because she is looking into all the allegations, but she did pinpoint two policies listed in the department's duty manual that should be scrutinized.

"When an officer is on duty or is off duty, that officer will avoid becoming officially involved in quarrels or disputes occurring in their own neighborhoods," said Cordell.

The other is article deals with an officer's code of conduct involving personal feelings. The teenagers' parents insist the officer was out of line that night.

The department, in the meantime, is reviewing the duty manual, which does not make specific mention of this type of behavior.

"We determined that there should be probably a very specific section that addresses this. We're several versions into actually creating one," said San Jose Police Department Sgt. Ronnie Lopez.

Lopez said the officer may have violated more than those two policies. The officer is currently on administrative leave.

You can read the full report by San Jose Mercury News reporter Sean Webby here: "Cell phone video: San Jose cop pretends to arrest boy"


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