A U.S. Capitol Police officer was indicted on federal civil rights prices after he was concerned in an unauthorized high-speed chase, crashed into a motorbike after which tried to cowl it up, prosecutors mentioned Friday.
The officer, Thomas Smith, was alleged to be checking on the properties of members of Congress in Georgetown round 11:30 p.m. on June 20, 2020, when he began pursuing two bikes. Prosecutors say Smith “adopted intently behind these autos at a excessive charge of velocity” earlier than he swerved his marked patrol automobile into one of many bikes, sending the driving force flying into the air.
U.S. Capitol Police coverage prohibits officers from pursuits exterior of the grounds of the Capitol with out permission from a supervisor. Smith didn’t search any approval and didn’t alert dispatchers that he was concerned in a chase, prosecutors say.
Authorities allege Smith drove across the man, leaving the sufferer mendacity within the roadway, and fled from the scene. Prosecutors say Smith “knowingly drove away from the scene of the crash with out rendering support, alerting medical authorities, and taking every other affordable steps to acquire assist for the sufferer.”
He then drove again to a Capitol Police parking storage, parked the broken police sedan, falsified a report back to say he had began his shift later after which went inside and bought keys for one more car, prosecutors mentioned.
The Metropolitan Police Department later contacted Capitol Police concerning the crash. Smith is accused of later mendacity to a Capitol Police sergeant and claiming to haven’t any information of the crash, in response to prosecutors. He advised the supervisor that he had “been assigned to and had been driving the USCP SUV all through his whole shift,” an indictment in opposition to him says.
Smith, 44, was charged with violating the sufferer’s civil rights and obstructing justice. He is anticipated to be arraigned in federal court docket within the subsequent week, prosecutors mentioned. It was not instantly clear whether or not he had an legal professional who might remark on the allegations.
Capitol Police officers mentioned Smith was suspended instantly after the crash. Officials mentioned he remained suspended with out pay pending the end result of the legal case and an inside investigation.
“The public’s belief is crucial for any legislation enforcement company and integrity is an important high quality for any legislation enforcement officer,” Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger mentioned.
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