It is always controversial when society “allows the criminal to go free because the constable blundered,” but what about allowing the constable to go free because the constable blundered? Shreveport police officer Wiley Willis became a national figure after shocking pictures were released of a woman who was beaten in his custody — after he turned off a camera in a police station. Now he has been reinstated because a polygrapher failed to record the result of a test of Willis. Not only was Willis never charged criminally, but he will now receive full back pay at the insistence of the Shreveport police officers union.
After turning off the camera, Willis left Angela Garbarino (who was arrested for DWI) with a broken nose and other injuries.
The Civil Service Board ruled that Willis’ rights, under the Police Officer Bill of Rights, were violated because an expert failed to record a polygraph examination Willis took as part of the Police Department’s investigation into Garbarino’s injuries, including two black eyes and a broken nose. Willis asks if the camera is on before turning it off. When he turns the camera on again, Garbarino is beaten and bloody.
The Police Chief has denounced the “technicality” and the reinstatement.
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