The story the court documents tell is alarming.
After an automobile crash, a young woman suspected of drunk driving was getting checked out for injuries. A California Highway Patrol officer, five-year veteran Sean Harrington, had her cell phone. He found a photo of her in a bikini. So he allegedly sent the image to his own phone, and then, though already guilty of criminal conduct, he forwarded the image to another California Highway Patrol officer. "Taken from the phone of my 10-15x while she's in X-rays," he texted. "Enjoy buddy!!!"
The colleague upbraided him for violating a citizen's privacy, contacted a commanding officer, and arranged for Harrington's arrest on felony charges. I kid, of course. The colleague actually complained that the photo wasn't more explicit.
"No fucking nudes?" Officer Robert Hazelwood allegedly replied. Officer Dion Simmons received the bikini photo too. "Nice," he allegedly replied. "Hahahaaaa." Harrington told him, "Just rerun a favor down the road buddy. :)"
Those details are taken from district attorney filings obtained by the Contra Costa Times in their ongoing coverage of a breaking scandal that is roiling the state police agency. "The California Highway Patrol officer accused of stealing nude photos from a DUI suspect's phone told investigators that he and his fellow officers have been trading such images for years, in a practice that stretches from its Los Angeles office to his own Dublin station," the newspaper reported Monday.