Greendale, WI - A Greendale woman, Katherine Torres, filed a complaint on a police officer, accusing him of profiling. She has now withdrawn the complaint, because dashcam video doesn't lie.
According to Fox6Now, Torres filed a complaint with the Greendale Police Department on Friday, June 2. She said that a Greendale police officer had pulled her over when she was driving back to work from her lunch break on Wednesday, May 31.
In a press conference on June 2, Torres said that the first question that the officer asked her was "Are you a U.S. citizen?" which was followed by the officer asking for her social security card, then her license, and her insurance card.
Greendale police said that they started an investigation immediately after receiving the complaint.
They said that on the date and time that Torres was pulled over, that four officers were participating in the 'Click It or Ticket' campaign.
Police officials said that 34 traffic stops were conducted on that day, and 35 tickets were issued to drivers with various 'ethnic backgrounds.' The GPD's research found that a sergeant had stopped Torres' vehicle because there was no front license plate attached or displayed, a violation of Wisconsin state traffic law. The Greendale police sergeant issued Torres a citation for failure to fasten seat belt, and she was given verbal warnings for two other violations.
In a press release from Tuesday, June 6, Greendale police said that the sergeant, who was not identified, asked for Torres' social security number, "which is consistent with department policy," and state law. Collection of a driver's social security number has been standard procedure with the department since 2003; social security numbers assist the Greendale Municipal Court in collection of 'unpaid forfeitures.' Drivers are legally allowed to refuse to provide a social security number.
Police said that they then reviewed audio and video recordings from the sergeant's in-squad video system. And that showed that Torries lied in her complaint about the sergeant. It showed that he “asked Ms. Torres for her contact information, insurance information and verified address, consistent with proper procedure. He never questioned her citizenship or immigration status, as alleged by Ms. Torres.”
The local immigrant advocacy group Voces de la Frontera, disputes the police department's findings. In a statement issued on Tuesday evening, June 6, the group mentioned background noise in the video, and claimed that the video had been edited:
"The video‘s audio is full of background noise, although the beginning of the encounter at about 1:00 on the Facebook video is surprisingly clear. At 2:10 the officer is heard asking for Ms. Torres’ Social Security number.
The audio then cuts out, and in the top and center of the frame the timestamp mysteriously hiccups and speeds up. Apart from this, much of the conversation between Officer Karczewski and Ms. Torres can’t be understood at all because of the static.
There is also a moment where many minutes appear to have been cut from the video, perhaps while the officer was in his car. The video in no way disproves Ms. Torres’ allegations that the police asked if she was a US citizen, and it proves they asked her for her Social Security number."
The video had, in fact, been edited before release. It was edited to cut out Torres saying her social security number so that it would not be freely available on the internet. An unedited version shown to reporters showed that only her personal information was redacted.
The group's executive director, Christine Neumann-Ortiz, also said that she went with Torres to meet with Greendale Police Chief Malasuk, and said that he refused to allow her to be with Torres while he was meeting with her. The group also said that he 'intimidated' her into withdrawing the charges by threatening to charge her criminally for filing a false report.
Officials with Voces de la Frontera declined an interview with Fox6Now after the unedited video was released.
You can see the traffic stop below: