Police Abuse

Texas Cop Suspended for Eight Hours for Mistake That Led to Years of Legal Troubles for Innocent Man, According to Lawsuit

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via KEYE TV

Robert Tidwell thought he was an innocent man when he was arrested by police in Round Rock, Texas, on charges of indecent exposure, accused of exposing himself at a YMCA he visited with his family.

Tidwell maintained his innocent but police insisted they didn't make a mistake. "I wouldn't have called you if there was any type of mistake, because that's just kind of silly to just randomly call people,"  he said during Tidwell's interrogation. And while the officer didn't appear to have just randomly called Tidwell, he did in fact make a mistake.

KEYE TV reports:

In an internal affairs investigation interview, the detective admitted he had made a mistake. When asked if he intentionally put false information in the arrest affidavit he responded, "No sir, I didn't. It was an accident. I made a mistake. I did. I just made, I made a big mistake."

 According to documents provided by the Round Rock Police Department, the detective was found in "neglect of duty."

According to the department documents, his discipline was an eight hour suspension without pay.

Tidwell says his punishment dragged on for years.

"For nearly two years, I woke up every day knowing that I was out on bail, pretty much having that over my head," said Tidwell.

The second arrest also happened after Tidwell filed a complaint against the police department, but police insist opening new investigations on charges dropped by prosecutors was standard operating procedure.  Via KEYE:

The city stated, "Re-opening, or continuing an investigation after a prosecutor has declined to prosecute a case pending further investigation is not an uncommon practice in law enforcement. The fact that this happened in Mr. Tidwell's case two months after he filed a complaint against the department is coincidental."

Tidwell's attorney has another take.

"Instead of just admitting fault and moving on they doubled down on their mistakes and ran Robert through all of this again," said Scott Medlock. "That's what's really shocking here."

Tidwell eventually filed a federal lawsuit. He accepted a settlement [of $110,000], which was paid by the city's insurance and not with city funds, according to city officials.

Tidwell's attorney says he hopes the settlement sent a message to police "to do tip top work." But the settlement doesn't affect the police department, and an eight hour suspension is unlikely to send much of a message at all. 

Separately, the city of Round Rock is also facing a lawsuit from a disabled veteran who claims he was assaulted by police during a traffic stop. A police offenders registry could be a useful tool for insurance companies to determine risk when they cover cities for police issues. 

NEXT: CUNY Tells Profs Not to Say 'Mr.' or 'Ms.' Because That's Offensive and Illegal-ish (It's Not)

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  1. Robert Tidwell thought he was an innocent man

    You’re not me, pal.

    1. Don’t call me pal, friend

      1. You’re not my friend, guy.

        1. I’m not your guy, dude.

          1. Don’t call me dude, buddy.

            1. I’m no buddy,amigo.

              1. Don’t call me amigo, pendejo.

  2. Anyone who has read an arrest report of something they witnessed knows that false information standard procedure.

  3. “A police offenders registry could be a useful tool for insurance companies to determine risk when they cover cities for police issues. ”

    Or how about this: Catch a Predator, only for cops. Lure the cops to what seems to be an easy opportunity to commit graft, then out pops – you guessed it: Radley Balko!

    “Mr. Pig, can you tell our television audience why you took the winnings from those two poker players when they were able to verify on the spot that those winnings were from a legitimate poker game?”

    That shit would dry right up if these pigs had their corrupt little piggy faces smeared across Telerama.

    1. You kidding? The cop would shoot everyone, the video would mysteriously disappear, and the investigation would find everything to be justified.

      1. Balko is immune to these puny bullets you speak of.

        He feeds off of the bees in Chuck Norris’ beard.

      2. “The suspect came at me in an aggressive manner with an object I reasonably thought was a bazooka, but turned out to be a Go-Pro. So my weapon discharged itself as it is trained to do and the suspect died at the scene.”

    2. So if Radley Balko also emceed the program, you could call it “Graft vs. Host”.

  4. “According to the department documents, his discipline was an eight hour suspension without pay.”

    You know, among us mundanes, it’s common to be suspended without pay for 16 hours EVERY DAMN DAY.

    1. And you just lit the Dunphy signal

      1. No, Dunphy only shows up to be pedantic when somebody mentions being suspended “with pay” (even though it’s been pointed out that suspension with pay is standard in several jurisdictions. He’s never answered that for some reason)

        1. He’s never answered that for some reason

          That would involve admitting to being wrong, which is something that people who seek out the job of police officer (a job where you get to beat the shit out of anyone who says you are wrong) are incapable of doing.

        2. You are correct citizen. I offer 1 monocle washer for forgiveness.

    2. I’d give him an 8 hour suspension. Just need an rope and his privates shaved.

  5. If you’re “innocent until proven guilty”, why do they hold you in jail until your trial?

    1. To make sure you’ll show up.

      1. That’s what bail is for.

  6. When your protection services are funded through taxation, that service is just a racket. Don’t be surprised when criminal protectors behave like criminals.

  7. a settlement [of $110,000], which was paid by the city’s insurance and not with city funds, according to city officials.

    Are city officials that dumb or do they think the voters are? It certainly will be paid by the city through a big insurance premium hike next time their policy renews.

    1. That gave me a chuckle, too.

  8. “A police offenders registry could be a useful tool for insurance companies to determine risk when they cover cities for police issues.”

    Ooh, sic the insurance companies on these jurisdictions! It would be almost unfair. But not quite.

  9. my roomate’s mother makes $63 /hr on the internet . She has been unemployed for 10 months but last month her check was $18498 just working on the internet for a few hours. read the full info here……………
    ????? http://www.cashbuzz80.com

  10. New Hampshire has a police offender registry called the Laurie List (named for a court case). This is a list of cops with “credibility” issues, up to and including, perjury. It’s in the news now as they quibble over the details of when it must be revealed to defense counsel that a testifying cop is on the list.

    I’d say the Laurie list should be a list of cops about to be fired.

    1. I’d say the Laurie list should be a list of cops about to be fired.

      My guess is that the purpose of the list is to remind other cops to be more careful when they lie on reports and in court. Lying is their job. Can’t fire them for it.

      1. Think about the normal level of lying and testilying that cops do, then consider what you’d have to do to get on that list.

        Then the absurdity of when and how prosecutors have to reveal that a testifying officer is on the list.

        The Laurie list should not exist.

        1. So the list is basically comprised of cops who were too stupid to turn off a camera or destroy the video.

    2. It’s in the news now as they quibble over the details of when it must be revealed to defense counsel that a testifying cop is on the list.

      I’d vote for when the prosecutor announces, “The arresting officer has been terminated and stripped of his certification, so we’re dropping the case.”

  11. What is an 8 hour suspension supposed to be? “Just go home early, all will be forgiven tomorrow.”

  12. Tidwell eventually filed a federal lawsuit. He accepted a settlement [of $110,000], which was paid by the city’s insurance and not with city funds, according to city officials

    Municipal insurance is free? Who knew?

    1. It would be interesting to know how much the insurance increased. If someone has PACER, the case is http://dockets.justia.com/dock…..965/659656

  13. A police offenders registry could be a useful tool for insurance companies to determine risk when they cover cities for police issues.

    What we need is a kind of “no-fly” list for government employees.

  14. Someone at that TV stations should be suspended for B-roll abuse.

  15. Offending Officer’s name is John Combs. Here is the Federal Lawsuit:
    http://tinyurl.com/Lawsuit-DetectiveJohnCombs

  16. “Instead of just admitting fault and moving on they doubled down on their mistakes and ran Robert through all of this again,” said Scott Medlock. “That’s what’s really shocking here.”

    That’s what’s really *predictable* here.

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