Racist Police Officer Arrested
(OR) – Three officers are in trouble after an incident that happened on Halloween, last year. In the early hours of October 31, Officer Steven Teets, who was off-duty and was drunk, was on his way home. He passed a house that had multiple messages promoting racial justice and support for the LGBTQ community.
Teets became enraged at the messages that were supportive of Black individuals and beat on the garage door of the house, which had a flag, then began kicking the vehicle in the driveway that had a message supporting Black people, written on the window. When the owner of the house, Mirella Castaneda, came to the door, Officer Teets “tried to kick in their front door and threatened to fight her husband.” He eventually left.
Police Officer Receives Preferential Treatment
The traumatized family called the police, not knowing that the person who had been terrorizing them was a police officer. Officers with the Forest Grove Police Department, the same department Teets worked for, found Steven Teets while he was still in the vicinity of Mrs. Castaneda’s home. Here’s where it gets strange. Steven Teets was issued a ticket. But the KGW8 article states the following,
“According to the Portland Tribune, the night of the attack Forest Grove police responded and found Officer Teets walking near the home, but because he was drunk and aggressive, they reportedly let him go home.”
He was drunk and aggressive so they just let him go? Mrs. Castaneda had already reported actions that would indicate trespass, attempted home invasion, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, and threats. At the very least the police officers could have arrested Teets for public intoxication. But none of that happened. Steven Teets was allowed to go home.
Police Chief’s Statement
The Forest Grove Police Chief released a statement on Facebook. It includes the following,
“I want to thank everyone for expressing their concerns and let you know that I share your concerns. I have spoken to the victim in this case, and assured her, as I do you, that the City takes personnel matters very seriously and allegations against any officer will be investigated and they will be held accountable to assure compliance with local, state, and federal policy.”
Sheriff’s Office Will Conduct Investigation
The Forest Grove Police Department turned over the case to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office to avoid the appearance of bias, a practice that has become common in law enforcement. The sheriff’s office charged Steven Teets with “criminal mischief in the second degree and disorderly conduct in the second degree.” They did not list the charges as a hate crime.
Steven Teets was allowed to remain on administrative duty. The two officers who should have arrested him are on paid administrative leave.