Deputy Placed on Desk Duty
Yesterday we posted an article on a deputy, Abigail Rios, being placed on administrative duty for following orders. The Sheriff’s Office released a statement saying the action was taken for that and another unrelated incident that was being investigated. We figured they didn’t have enough with the first incident so they were piling on. It appears that we had the more generous view of what happened.
Incident that was being Investigated
I guess Salazar realized how bad their actions looked and decided to release more information. It turns out the first incident was one that involved Deputy Rios and another deputy, Raul Maldonado. Both deputies were off-duty when they caught some kids who had broken into cars. Rios had one on the ground and Maldonado had run off after the other. The responding officer, Deputy A. Arredondo, arrived.
Security video caught the scene showing Rios aggressively approaching the second young man, after he was finally caught, who Deputy Arredondo had placed on his knees by the car. Rios appears to shout in his face then strikes him. Maldonado then approaches and it appears that he grabs the boy’s hair and slams his head against the car. Deputy Arredondo stands by watching. The video isn’t real clear but it seems to show enough for action to have been taken against these officers.
Critical Thinking Skills Lacking in this Administration
So here’s the situation. They have video proof, that they have known about since January 1st, that shows three deputies acting inappropriately. Two deputies appear to assault a handcuffed youth and the third allows it and doesn’t mention it in his police report. These are valid reasons to put someone on desk duty while the situation is being investigated. Instead, they allow them to continue on patrol. And this doesn’t even include the damning information given by the first teen who was caught. (See the updated KSAT article). He claims Deputy Rios allowed other people to beat him then told them to leave because officers would be there soon. Then, when one of these three officers is involved in a chase at the instruction of her supervisor, she is placed on desk duty.
Does the Salazar administration really think they have vindicated themselves by releasing this information? Can someone really have been ignorant enough to think this was better? They dragged their feet on the assault but made a big deal out of the chase in which Deputy Rios was following instructions! This is crazy.
As we’ve mentioned so many times, this all comes down to poor leadership. The Salazar administration had to know what had happened or at least what was claimed to have happened. The incident occurred on New Year’s Day and they were informed of the video later that same day. At the very least they saw part of the assaults that were alleged against both officers and they saw that the responding officer did nothing and that he did not note the abuse in his report.
Were photos taken of the injured boy’s face or did they get the pictures that would have been taken by juvenile? Did they get statements from the boys? if not, why not? And if they did, why weren’t these officers put on desk duty at that time? In my opinion, the video alone was enough to justify that action even without reports from the boys, which they should have gotten anyway. As the Sheriff’s Office said in reference to desk duty, it’s not discipline. Did they get the names of the people who were at Rios’ house? Did they question any of them to try to determine if any were involved in the attack?
The whole situation with the chase wouldn’t even have happened, at least not with these three officers, if the Sheriff’s Office had addressed the assault like they should have. Instead, they did everything they could to slow walk any action against these officers then chose to muddy the waters with putting only the female officer on desk duty for a bogus claim.
I didn’t think my opinion of the Salazar administration could go much lower. It seems I was wrong.
See the original KSAT 12 article here.