Hundreds of criminal investigations are under review following the resignation of two Iowa police officers amid accusations that they planted evidence.
It is not currently clear what the outcome of the case was, but police Sgt. Paul Parizek said at a news conference on Tuesday that the department was only informed about the incident in question on Friday as the result of a “complaint.” He did not specify who filed it.
Judge and Teut reportedly resigned on Monday. The accusation could eventually lead to criminal charges and an internal investigation has already been launched – which will now be tasked with examining hundreds of cases worked on by both of the “hero” cops dating back to August 2013 when they each joined the department.
“This is going to be a long, very extensive internal investigation. It’s going to be very thorough,” Parizek said at the news conference. “This is the outlier. This is not how our organization is. This is not representative of who we are.”
Parizek added that no other “heroes” have been accused of wrongdoing as a result of the allegation and stipulated that the department will keep the Polk County Attorney’s Office updated as the investigation moves forward.
Some are calling for more stringent measures however – like a Dept. of Justice and FBI probe – and say that the outcome of the investigation will have extensive implications for Des Moines. These might even include overturning the convictions of violent criminals who have been prosecuted based on the work of Judge and Teut.
At Tuesday’s news conference, Parizek asserted that “people know they can trust us,” and maintained that if the department probe reveals any policy that might have helped facilitate the officers’ behavior, it will be reviewed and addressed.
Listen to news conference: