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UPDATE: Highway patrol stole photos from arrested woman's phone

UPDATE: Highway patrol stole photos from arrested woman's phone
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UPDATE: New evidence has surfaced in the case against CHP Officer Harrington regarding photos taken from a drunk woman while she was in jail. It seems that this is not the first time that he has stolen photos from arrested women.

In fact, this was only the latest in a slew of digital thefts. Harrington called this digital thievery "a game" that stretches back over five years ago, and has admitted stealing photos from several other women.

Harrington wasn't the creator of "the game," but he participated and illegally obtained and shared the photos with other law enforcement officers. According to the affidavit, "Harrington said when he was assigned to the Dublin office, he learned from other officers that they would access the cell phones of female arrestees and look for nude photographs of them. Harrington said if photographs were located, the officers would then text the photographs to other sworn members of the office, and, to non-CHP individuals."

Source: Contra Costa Times

If you've been a reader here for long, then you probably know I have little patience for those who abuse their positions of authority or power over others.

Things like the audacity of the NSA domestic spying or the abuse of power by other law enforcement officials.

I want to point out, however, that police and our troops are here to support and protect us. These high profile incidents are just the work of a few bad apples. Even so, you need to be on your guard at all times, and know your rights so that you can protect them.

Unfortunately, these lessons are often learned at the expense of others.

For instance, when the woman in this story was on her way home, she had no idea that her private life was about to change forever by a law enforcement officer who shamed everyone wearing the uniform.

The woman, who has been identified only as "Jane Doe," was pulled stopped by highway patrol for making an unsafe lane change on the freeway. She failed a field sobriety test, and the 23-year old was booked into the county jail.

While she was locked up, the California Highway Patrol officer who pulled her over, Sean Harrington, obtained her iPhone password. He told her it was so that he could contact someone for her, but then he allegedly began going through her photos.

Harrington sent no less than six photos "of a compromising nature" to himself from her phone. He thought he had erased the evidence of it from her iPhone.

The Jane Doe was released with a court date. But five days later, she noticed something. "[S]he was using her iPad and noticed that six photos of her had been sent from her iPhone to a telephone number in the 707 area code that she didn’t recognize, authorities said in court records."

The young woman did some online research and discovered that the phone number belonged to Harrington, the CHP officer who had arrested her.

Rick Madsen, attorney for the Jane Doe, expressed his disgust. "Rather than exercise and fulfill his duties as a sworn peace officer, it seems Harrington saw more interest in satisfying his own prurient ideations,” Madsen said. “The damage to my client is incalculable, and it’s simply a disgrace to the uniform."

Court records show that the woman was not charged for her DUI offense in light of the officer's alleged conduct.

Officer Harrington is currently on desk duty during an ongoing probe by the Contra Costa County district attorney’s office, according to investigators and court records.

EDIT: A reference to the riots and protests in Ferguson was removed from the beginning of the article.

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Source: SF Gate
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