Another cop whose alleged actions and history of
misconduct make the case for zero tolerance for police
officers. Officer Jackie Len Neal of the San Antonio Police
arrested for allegedly raping a 19-year-old woman he pulled
over at 2 in the morning. Neal allegedly told the woman her car was
reported stole (she produced a sales slip), ordered her to get out
of the car, and patted her down despite her request for a female
officer. He allegedly then handcuffed her, placed her in the back
of his patrol car and raped her. Neal will continue to be paid
until he is indicted, and was released on $20,000 bond. The police
department should have the power to dismiss him immediately as they
see fit; even the perception of impropriety or criminality can make
an officer unfit for service. What’s more, Neal had been the
subject of sexual assault complaints before.
Via My San Antonio:
Police Chief William McManus said a different woman
made a similar complaint against Neal a few years ago. The date of
that incident was not immediately available.
McManus said that woman later refused to cooperate in a police
investigation, so it wasn’t pursued. There were no consequences for
Neal at the time.
McManus said he has asked officers to go back to that woman to see
if she would be willing to help in the new investigation.
Neal was suspended in September for three days for dating an
18-year-old member of the Police Explorer program about two years
ago. The program is meant to encourage young people to consider a
career in law enforcement.
Officers are forbidden from fraternizing with members of the
program for people 14 to 21 years old.
The San Antonio Police Department should not have been hampered
by a union contract from dismissing Neal after the initial rape
complaint or after the clear violation of policy with regards to
the youth program.
The SAPD should be commended for moving to act quickly on the
latest complaint, and for their attempt to revisit the prior
allegation. It doesn’t always happen that way, with prosecutions of
cops being both notoriously rare and late. In Kentucky,
for example, it took nineteen years and a seven-year-long state
police investigation to get to this week’s arrest two former Oak
Grove cops for the 1994 murder of two local prostitutes whose madam
publicly accused cops of the killings. Oak Grove’s mayor
called the charges the “tip of the iceberg,” pointing out that
other police officers may well have known what happened.
And just today, the schools superintendent in Steubenville, Ohio
charged with obstructing an investigation into the rape of a
teenage girl by three high school football players, a rape that
would’ve likely remained uninvestigated were it not for the
attention given to it by local bloggers and online activists,
one of whom may face more prison time than the alleged rapists
he exposed, and another who successfully fought off
defamation charges related to her coverage of the case. Reason TV
interviewed her attorney earlier this year, which you can watch
from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/25/san-antonio-cop-charged-with-handcuffing