The California Highway Patrol’s top Bay Area official over the weekend called the actions of officers who are accused of sharing nude photographs taken from the cellphones of female suspects “disappointing” and “disgusting.”
CHP Chief Avery Browne of the Golden Gate Division said his staff is angry over statements made by a fellow officer to prosecutors that sharing the nude photographs was a widespread game among officers, some of whom worked in the Los Angeles region.
“Allegations that have been brought forward are disappointing,” Browne said at a news conference late Saturday. “They are disgusting.”
The chief’s statement was made in response to a fellow officer in Dublin who told prosecutors that he forwarded nude photos of female suspects from their phones to himself, then shared the images with fellow officers.
Browne said the alleged practice was “isolated to employees” assigned to the CHP Dublin office.
The employees involved in the scandal, he said, have been identified, removed from service and their peace officer powers have been cut. They are currently serving administrative duty while the investigation continues, Browne added.
Bay Area media reports put the number of officers removed from service at two or three.
Browne publicly thanked the 23-year-old woman who he said had the “courage” to come forward with the allegations.
After he was briefed, Browne, together with the Contra Costa County district attorney, launched an investigation.
“As an organization, we expect the highest levels of integrity and moral strength from everyone in the California Highway Patrol and there is no place in our organization for such behavior or conduct,” he said. “We expect much more and do so and the public does so also.”