Police

Police Captain Claimed Chief Wanted Him to Frame a City Manager, Gets Fired

Columbia, South Carolina

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fired
WIS

Cops can unload their guns into a man in bed, beat up on a mentally disabled person at their second jobs, or commit a slew of other kinds of police brutality, and not put their jobs at risk. Sometimes even when they're fired for it they're not really fired for it, with union contracts making it difficult to dismiss a cop and keep him from returning to the force, or even in disciplining them in a way that might alter future behavior. But cops do get fired. Like Captain Dave Navarro of the Columbia, SC police department.

Via WIS, the local NBC affiliate:

We know Navarro was fired on Monday. Before that, he was put on unpaid suspension for three days. The city claims it was for insubordination and an unauthorized audio recording.

In an exclusive interview with Jody Barr, Navarro claims 6 to 8 months ago he was first approached by then Deputy-Chief Ruben Santiago to frame Assistant City Manager Allison Baker by planting a gun and drugs in his car.

"He didn't just tell me a gun, he told me, 'Dave, it must be a stolen gun,' and he also said cocaine and I asked him that question, 'Why cocaine, chief? Nobody will believe that Mr. Alison Baker would use crack cocaine,'" said Navarro.

Navarro says Santiago approached him two more times about the same scheme. Navarro says he did not come forward earlier because he feared retaliation.

"After that phone call to SLED, I immediately felt retaliation from Chief Santiago," said Navarro. "Things began to move immediately."

Interim Chief Santiago says recently he found out about an audio recording he says Navarro made of a conversation between the two of them back in January. 

For his part, Santiago said it bothered him that Navarro would try to record a conversation with him and not share it. Navarro says he filed a complaint about the alleged attempted frame job last Tuesday to the city manager and last Wednesday to the South Carolina Law Enforcement division and to his department's internal affairs agency. He was suspended the same day and fired the next Monday. According to WIS, the city declined to acknowledge any investigation and refused to provide more information.

Pick a police shooting that's happened in America in the last year, meanwhile, and the cop involved is highly likely to still be on the job.

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  1. Just like down in Sanford, they fired the IT guy for telling the Zimmerman defense that the prosecution was withholding evidence.

    Sure what he did was wrong in the sense that it’s against workplace rules, but no one actually got in trouble for, you know, withholding evidence.

    All of them need to be fired. The entire Criminal Justice system. And unions need to be abolished from representing public employees.

    1. Sure what he did was wrong in the sense that it’s against workplace rules

      The tiny mind of a bureaucrat knows little else.

    2. Has the Sanford IT guy sued yet? Is there any kind of investigation into whether they withheld evidence? This seems like something the justice dept. should be looking into.

      1. All IT guys are racists.

        1. I guess you’ve heard the Central Africans vs. Carribean islanders rant, too.

          1. Actually no, but everybody’s a racist. No exceptions.

      2. Well last thing the news said about it was that he was fired on Monday, so not sure what his plans are.

      3. He had a lawyer who was making statements as if he meant to sue, but I don’t think that he’s filed yet.

  2. We’re talking about a serious breach of trust. If a police chief can’t rely on his subordinates to frame a politician, the terrorists will win.

  3. For his part, Santiago said it bothered him that Navarro would try to record a conversation with him and not share it.

    “It hurts me deeply that you think you might need to protect yourself from me, some day.”

  4. For his part, Santiago said it bothered him that Navarro would try to record a conversation with him and not share it.

    I am sure it did. In fairness, shit like this is why people argued for cop unions. Police Chiefs and sheriffs are often the worst sort of criminals and think nothing of firing anyone who won’t do their dirty work. Not saying the cure isn’t worse than the disease. But this is a problem.

    1. Right so in order to protect cops from their bosses, we needed to jettison any accountability to those they presumptively serve.

      Got it.

      1. Which part of Not saying the cure isn’t worse than the disease. did you not understand?

        1. I think it’s the implicit apology for police unions in the first place contained in this phrase:

          In fairness, shit like this is why people argued for cop unions.

          Who exactly is this in fairness too?

          1. Who exactly is this in fairness too?

            John: “Police Chiefs and sheriffs are often the worst sort of criminals and think nothing of firing anyone who won’t do their dirty work.”

            Me: derp!

  5. For his part, Santiago said it bothered him that Navarro would try to record a conversation with him and not share it.

    Now he knows how the rest of us feel about cops.

  6. Maybe he can get a Jane’s Addiction tour going to keep himself busy.

  7. Cops who refuse to commit illegal acts are fired while cops who commit murder get paid vacations. I guess that says it all.

  8. Yet another case for local Libertarian Parties getting active and out front on these cases. If the two major parties are going to always support “lawnorder” then libertarians need to raise holy hell about
    SWAT protocols, LEO misconduct, prosecutorial abuse or “looking the other way.” While NAACP and other usual suspects are running around trying to weaken the self-defense rules, libertarians need to spotlight actual injustice in the justice system.

  9. Nobody will believe that Mr. Alison Baker would use crack cocaine

    I refuse to believe that Alison Baker is a “Mr.”

    1. According to the previous sentence, it’s “Allison Baker,” which is likely masculine. Somehow an ‘l’ was dropped by the next paragraph.

  10. Not that, I guess, it makes any difference at this point, but I wonder why the chief was trying to frame Baker in the first place. Not much shows up in the story.

    1. So you’re not willing to play along with respect the gender self-identification of others? Racist! Cisgenderist!

  11. A cop has a sudden outbreak of conscience and gets shit-canned for his trouble.

    How long do those “bad apples” have to stay in before they spoil the bunch?

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