Phoenix, AZ—Four Phoenix police detectives are on administrative leave as the department investigates and determines their punishment. For the time being the department is not releasing their names or other identifying information.
Their apparent offense was to put up a PowerPoint exhibition at a private home that allegedly contained gruesome death scene photos.
I can’t imagine who thought they were doing a public service by snitching on these officers but even cops have a right to privacy.
The only argument that could be made is that some people may think this is somehow showing disrespect for the dead.
Let me begin by addressing reality. These photos are connected to public officers conducting investigations. These investigations are not secret nor are any evidence photographs. Arizona has a very broad and strong public records law. The courts must allow public inspection and viewing of any photos used as evidence. Over the years I’ve seen some shocking and awful pictures in case files I’ve had to examine.
One might argue this was in bad taste but cops are by nature desensitized to blood, guts and gore. They see and deal with this stuff everyday.
The internal investigation and actions of the City of Phoenix in this matter are a waste of time and money.
Had the officers placed these offending pictures in a public setting or did this to humiliate family members of the dead this would be different.
The city needs to get on with real problems instead of invading the privacy of their cops.