On March 21, 2011 Seattle Seattle drunk driving accident victim's rights attorney Chris Davis was asked by KIRO7 News to comment on the Seattle police investigation into allegations of the mishandling of dozens of drunk-diriving cases by members of the department's DUI squad. The investigation is focused on accusations that arrest reports were not screened and properly approved by a supervising sergean in the DUI Squad.
The Seattle Police has pulled four of the five members of the team from field duty for the duration of the investigation. Among the allegations is that the supervising officer did not report to work but instead approved DUI arrests via telephone and then a rubber stamp of the sergeant's signature was used on the reports. Apparently this practice has been going on for more than a year.
There have also been reports that the sergeant's name was put on reports without him being contacted at all. Dozens of DUI cases may be impacted by this issue.
"It certainly raises the thought that what they are doing is sloppy. It could conceivably damage or impact or damage the prosecutor's ability to prosecute an offender," said Davis, a personal injury attorney that represents DUI victims. "That can certainly cause an amorous amount of stress, heartache and concern on the part of victims and their family members."
"The scope of the investigation at this point focuses on the administrative policy violation of screening all arrests with a supervisor in person, which department policy requires," the statement said. "This investigation is in its infancy. The scope may change as new information is developed," said Chief of Police, John Diaz.
"It certainly raises questions in my mind about whether or not the department is cutting other corners.Is this the tip of the iceberg?" said Davis.
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