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NEWS > 17 August 2008

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Police sergeant sues city, cops for slander

METHUEN Police Sgt. Larry Phillips says he cooperated with the FBI for an investigation of police Chief Joseph Solomon in 2006.

He alleges that Solomon ordered him not to charge the chief's then brother-in-law, James Caron, in a theft case. Phillips reported the interference to the FBI and then became the victim of a campaign to harass him and tarnish his reputation, according to a federal lawsuit filed by Phillips.

Phillips is suing the city, Solomon, Capt. Randy Haggar, Lt. Michael Pappalardo, Capt. Katherine Lavigne, Officer Joseph Aiello, Officer Ronald Valliere an... Read more

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17 August 2008
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Police Said Officer Handled Si

A San Marcos, Texas, police officer has been accused of inappropriate behavior during a traffic stop which may have lead to a dog's death.

Officer Paul Stephens spotted driver Michael Gonzalez speeding down Interstate 35 and pulled him over for clocking 100 miles per hour. After a brief pursuit, Gonzalez pulled alongside the highway and emerged from his car, saying, "He's dying."

"Who's dying? Relax," Stephens said as his cruiser's dashboard camera captured the interaction.

"My dog," Gonzalez said during the Aug. 5 traffic stop.

Gonzalez and his girlfriend said they were speeding because they were rushing their choking teacup poodle Missy to an emergency veterinary clinic for treatment.

But on the video, Stephens sounded less than empathetic as he berated the driver for putting others' lives at risk as he sped down the highway.

"You're driving down the highway at 100 per hour," he said sternly. "It's a dog, it's OK. You can get another one. Relax."

For 15 minutes, Stephens kept Gonzalez on the roadside.

"He said, 'You need to chill out. It's just a dog.' And I said, 'It's not just a dog; it's my family,'" Gonzalez said.

Missy died as Gonzalez waited for the Stephens to issue a citation.

Though Stephens' supervisors found him not guilty of misconduct, they did agree he handled the situation poorly.

"His world was collapsing. And what the officer says to him, basically, is, 'I don't care,'" said San Marcos police department chief Howard Williams.

 

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