Posted By Alex Zielinski on Thu, May 18, 2017 at 12:12 PM
An officer with the San Antonio Police Department has been put on 46-day suspension for turning off his body camera during on-duty house calls, doing personal business while on duty, and for telling a theft victim cops “hate citizens.”
Officer Grady Coleman’s unpaid suspension, which began Wednesday, is the result of two different infractions, according to records first obtained this week by Sinclair Broadcast Group. The first is a combination of Coleman’s actions on three different days in early October 2016, when reports say he visited a woman’s apartment for non-SAPD business while on duty — and failed to alert dispatchers — and turned off his body camera during an on-duty welfare check.
The second infraction took place on January 17, when Coleman told the victim of an alleged theft that he “hates dealing with people who don’t know the law,” to which the the person replied, “it’s no wonder people hate cops.”
“It’s no wonder we hate citizens,” Coleman snapped back, according to the report. His body camera was turned off during the interaction.
Coleman was given a 45-day suspension by SAPD Chief William McManus for his October blunders, and a one-day suspension for the January incident. McManus also ordered Coleman to enroll in counseling or a mentorship program.
This suspension is considerably longer than some of the one or two-day penalties we’ve seen McManus give officers in the past for seemingly worse offenses.
Like in 2014, when Officer Moses Berban spotted a 16-year-old “allegedly displaying an obscene gesture toward him,” he chased the kid down and “engaged in a profane verbal exchange” before grabbing him by the head and slamming him to the ground. Like Coleman, Berban had turned his body camera off during this particular interaction — but he only got a 15-day suspension.
Coleman’s suspension even goes beyond Officer Harold Thomaston’s 25-day suspension in 2016 for meeting and sexually harassing a Match.com date while on duty, in uniform, and in a SAPD vehicle. His date told police that Thomaston had “touched her breasts and legs without her consent.”
But at least we now know, per Coleman’s case, that the department will drop the hammer if you routinely forget to turn on your body cam and, during an argument with a crime victim, grouse about why cops “hate citizens.”