Originally published on October 29, 2014, at NationofChange.org
A California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer has admitted to stealing nude photos from the cell phones of several women that he arrested and shared the pictures with at least two other officers. Accessing their cell phones while the women were in police custody, CHP Officer Sean Harrington forwarded the explicit photos to his phone before texting them to his colleagues. Instead of serving and protecting, law enforcement authorities have repeatedly been caught abusing their powers for their own amusement.
Just past midnight on August 29, Officer Harrington and his partner pulled over a 23-year-old San Ramon woman for making an unsafe lane change. After failing a field sobriety test, she was detained on suspicion of driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content of .29, over three times the legal limit. Harrington brought the woman to the county jail in Martinez where she asked the officer to retrieve a phone number from her contact list. After she gave Harrington her cell password, he wrote the phone number down on a piece of paper and handed it to her. Surveillance video corroborates these events.
While off-camera, Harrington illegally delved into her photos without a search warrant. He forwarded six intimate photos of the suspect to his cell phone before deleting the record of actions from her iPhone. Unbeknownst to Harrington, her iPad was synced to her phone via iCloud and kept a separate record of his transgressions. After the suspect was released, she learned her photos had been forwarded to an unknown phone number with a 707 area code while she was in custody. She researched the number and discovered it belonged to her arresting officer.