San Jose police officer investigated amid intoxication allegation
The San Jose Police Department is investigating one of its officers for allegedly being under the influence while responding to the scene of a recent kidnapping investigation.
During a news conference Tuesday, San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata said the officer has been placed on leave as of April 26. The officer’s name has not been released because of the ongoing investigation.
An FBI agent who responded to the kidnapping case allegedly saw the officer impaired, NBC Bay Area reported. The station also reported that a subsequent breathalyzer test showed a blood alcohol level of 0.139, nearly twice the legal limit.
The officer under investigation was tasked with canvassing the neighborhood after 3-month-old Brandon Cueller was taken from his grandmother’s home last Monday.
The baby was found safe the next day, and the suspects have been charged with multiple felonies.
Mata said he is sharing details of the investigation with the Santa Clara district attorney’s office and will carry out “swift and appropriate action,” including termination and criminal prosecution if criminal conduct is discovered.
In light of the fentanyl drug overdose death of San Jose Police officer De’Jon Packer weeks before, Mayor Sam Liccardo announced during the news conference Tuesday that he is negotiating with the police union to require random drug and alcohol testing among all officers.
The San Jose Police Officers’ Assn. could not be immediately reached for comment.
“While our officers’ mental health and wellness are paramount, I cannot and will not stand for egregious acts violating the public’s trust,” he said during the news conference, during which he apologized to Brandon Cueller’s family.
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