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Fired Deputies Say They Didn’t Know It Was Illegal To Lie On Police Reports

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 29 Sep 2020 15:57
Fired Deputies Say They Didn't Know It Was Illegal To Lie On Police ReportsGetty

A pair of deputies have said they didn’t know it was illegal to lie on official police reports despite being frequently trained on the matter.

Bryce Richmond Simpson and Joseph Anthony Atkinson Jr., who have both since been fired, admitted they didn’t know this during a trial to a grand jury on Monday, September 21.

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The pair gave the statement during another deputy’s trial following the ongoing Orange County ‘evidence scandal’ that came to light last year. Several Orange County deputies had claimed they had booked evidence in reports as required, when they had not. Some officers didn’t book the evidence until a month after writing the reports, while some didn’t do it at all.

Simpson, 31, and Atkinson Jr., 39, are thought to be two of 17 former deputies being investigated. During last week’s trial, the two testified that they were not told it was illegal to state in police reports that they had submitted evidence when they actually had not.

Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) spokesperson Carrie L. Braun told Fox News that, despite what Simpson and Atkinson Jr. said, deputies are frequently trained ‘on evidence, chain of custody, and booking of evidence’. This is supposedly taught in both the basic police academy and in the department’s Field Training Officer program.

Braun continued:

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In addition, evidence booking protocols and policy now require deputies to include confirmation of the booked evidence in their report, which is then reviewed by a supervisor before being signed off.

The Department also conducts randomized spot checks every month, pulling reports and cross-referencing the evidence booking system to ensure evidence is booked as documented.

police tapePixabay

The scandal comes following a police audit that took place between February 2016 and February 2018, which found 27% of the department’s deputies were found to have taken 31 days or more to book evidence.

During a second audit of the 450 reports, it was discovered that 57 deputies had falsely claimed to have had submitted evidence.

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Last month it was reported that the District Attorney’s office had launched their own review of the scandal. Six cases had been referred to the DA’s office for a decision on criminal charges, Voice of OC reports. The DA’s office apparently chose not to prosecute 15 of the previous 17 cases that had been previously referred to them.

Simpson and Atkinson Jr. pleaded guilty to misdemeanour charges in June, which saw them both avoid jail time.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: News, Orange County, US News

Credits

Fox News and 1 other
  1. Fox News

    California sheriff's deputies say they didn't know it was illegal to lie about evidence on police reports: report

  2. Voice of OC

    OC Sheriff Evidence Booking Scandal Expands With 15 More Investigations of Deputies Disclosed