Two Forest Grove Police officers are facing criminal charges after an alleged vandalism incident and its cover-up. All because of a Black Lives Matter flag.
Last year, Officer Steven Teets, who was off-duty, vandalized Mirella Castaneda’s home and it may have been because of the Black Lives Matter flag in her front yard, The Washington Post reported.
At first, it was reported that Teets acted alone, but new reports from The Oregonian say that Teets had a driver—Officer Bradley Schuetz, who responded to the home when police were called.
On Thursday, Schuetz was indicted before a grand jury on one count of first-degree official misconduct because he drove Teets home instead of arresting him and taking him in for investigation.
By not arresting Teets immediately, as Beaverton police Sgt. Kevin MacDonald said best, Schuetz “prevented the investigation from happening.”
“Sharing such information at this time (or rushing to make decisions based on partial information) could do more harm than good and could potentially hinder the City’s ability to address these important issues,” Forest Grove Police Chief Henry Reimann said in a statement regarding why he could not release any information about the October incident until the criminal cases are resolved. “Once the criminal process is complete for each of the officers, an outside law enforcement agency will evaluate if policy violations occurred.”
However, Teets is not off the hook as he faces charges of second-degree criminal mischief and second-degree disorderly conduct for allegedly violating Castaneda’s home, setting her truck alert off, and interfering with the flag.
When Castaneda went outside to see the commotion, Teets allegedly attempted to fight her.
Castaneda called the police and when the responding officers arrived, including Schuetz, the officers recognized Teets and Schuetz drove him home against police department procedures.
Teets has been placed on administrative desk duty, while Schuetz has been placed on paid administrative leave, Forest Grove Police Capt. Michael Hall told The Associated Press.