A mother in Anderson, Indiana is calling for the firing of a police officer after her son ran a red light, crashed his motorcycle and died.
Here’s what happened. Police say on July 23 at 6:24 a.m., Chase Kumkoski ran a red light at the corner of 25thand Raible Avenue in Anderson.
He crashed. Then he died.
“There is a motorcycle crash…the man is on fire. They are trying to put him out. Both units be en route to 25th and Raible. Two-five and Raible for a serious PI motorcycle accident. The subject on the bike is on fire. We are starting fire units,” the 911 operator announced.
Officer Mark Dawson responded.
“10-4, I’m clear. It will be a minute before I’m en route,” he said.
Dawson was apparently riding with another officer when the call came in and had to be taken to his cruiser.
“They had the option to go straight to the scene to help my son. They chose not to. They did not help my son. He laid there, he was burning. Every call said he was on fire, but they needed to wait a minute before he responded,” Kumkoski’s mother told the media.
She said the Anderson Police Chief Tony Watters, who didn’t comment to the media about the write-up, wrote up the officer.
“It’s not acceptable to me that he just got a write-up. It took five minutes before a first responder got there and eight minutes before the policeman who was supposed to be on the beat got there. My son didn’t matter. He didn’t matter,” she said.
The crying mom suggested she’s going to sue.
“I have contacted an attorney and I am going after this man’s job. Absolutely I am. I know his wrongdoings and he paid for those, but these people need to pay for theirs as well and I will make sure of it.”
Chief Watters told the Anderson Herald Bulletin:
“This was a horrific accident. I don’t know if there are any words that can actually explain and give explanation enough to that family for this incident. We accept responsibility and we have taken preventative measures to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
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In another story about going after a police officer for doing his job… a Virginia cop was suspended this week after he “had the nerve and audacity” to notify ICE that he had detained a subject that they had a warrant out on.
But on Thursday, after a massive public outcry about punishing the officer for upholding the law, the Fairfax County lawman has been allowed back to work.
Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr. released a statement following the announcement of the decision to return his officer to the streets.
“We have one of the best police forces in the U.S. and I have confidence that our officer will represent us well throughout his career,” the chief said on Thursday.
As reported by the Washington Times, Chief Roessler Jr. said Tuesday he suspended an officer who cooperated with federal deportation officers by turning over an undocumented immigrant he encountered during a traffic stop — a move the chief said violated department policy.
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) October 3, 2019
Chief Roessler didn’t identify the officer but said he “deprived a person of their freedom” by cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The chief called his actions unacceptable.
“Our county is one of the most diverse counties in the nation and no one should have the perception that FCPD is acting as a civil immigration agent for ICE,” he said in a statement. “This matter damages our reputation and the longstanding policy that I have stated many times that our officers shall not act as immigration agents.”
But cries from the public proclaimed that the officer was not acting as an immigration agent. He was merely extending a professional courtesy. He was doing his job.
He had some harsh words for the police chief who made the call. https://t.co/xax9uuHG4F
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) October 2, 2019
The subject lost their “right to freedom” when they violated multiple laws.
For Roessler to claim that this officer was wrong for detaining a subject that was breaking the law is ludicrous. Had he stopped a suspect who was driving without a license, had a warrant for failure to appear in Stafford County and called Stafford to come pick him up, would he still be suspended?
Of course not. Because that is his job. It is the chief’s job. And he failed to do what he was hired to do.
The chief said the officer was working a traffic accident in the Huntington section of the Virginia county on Sept. 21 and came across someone without a driver’s license. When the officer ran the name, it returned a flag from ICE, which said the immigrant was a fugitive after failing to appear for a deportation hearing.
The county’s system confirmed the warrant. The officer called, and an ICE employee responded.
Chief Roesslersaid the county officer should not have detained the immigrant to turn over to ICE. He said that move broke department policy, which tells officers not to bother to confirm administrative warrants through the county’s system. The majority of administrative warrants are from ICE.
“The officer involved in this event has been relieved of all law enforcement duties pending the outcome of this investigation,” the chief said.
Luis Aguilar, director of CASA Virginia, a leading advocacy group for immigrants, said Chief Roessler’s decision to suspend an officer was bold — but correct.
“We think it’s a very appropriate action,” Mr. Aguilar told The Washington Times. “This is local law enforcement, this is the local police department, and they cannot be enforcing federal immigration laws. … This is a clear message of where and how the chief of police thinks.”
ICE did not respond to a request for comment, but the agency’s acting director last week used a press conference at the White House to complain about communities that refused to cooperate with his deportation officers.
Matthew T. Albence, the acting director of ICE, said police departments routinely cooperate with other departments on warrants and detention requests and there is no reason they should treat ICE differently.
“I guarantee you, I can go into Fairfax County [court] today and there will probably be sheriffs from Loudoun County, sheriffs from Prince William County, maybe a couple of Marshals guys that are there waiting for somebody,” he said. “It’s a common occurrence in law enforcement. The only reason it’s being made controversial is because politicians are looking to exploit it.”
Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies, said Fairfax County’s police department is getting the law enforcement equation backward.
“The police chief is ordering an investigation of an officer who did exactly the right thing by responding to an active ICE warrant on an illegal alien who was a fugitive,” she said. “It’s astonishing that a police chief is more intent on punishing his officer than seeing to it that legitimate laws are enforced.”
She disputed the police department’s suggestion that the county officer was acting as an agent of ICE.
She said that is no more true than if he had held someone for a warrant issued by neighboring Montgomery County in Maryland.
She said Fairfax police intended to shame the officer.
Chief Roesslersaid the suspect in question was picked up by ICE and was processed and released with an ankle bracelet pending the outcome of deportation proceedings.
Aguilar said it’s likely the suspect will be deported and the police officer will be responsible.
“We don’t even know about the family itself, who’s going to be separated. We don’t know if there’s kids involved,” he said.
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