Londonderry police chief probing online 'CopBlock' allegations
LONDONDERRY — Complaints concerning two police officers posted on a popular website are now under investigation.
Police Chief Bill Hart said the department hadn’t received a formal complaint regarding the incident earlier this month, but he said he’s treating the case as seriously as any other complaint.
“No one said anything to us,” Hart said during Monday night’s Town Council meeting. “This was posted on the Cop Block site and on Facebook and as soon as we knew about it, we initiated an investigation.”
Hart described Cop Block as “an advocacy site for people holding certain views.”
Cop Block’s website said it is “a decentralized project supported by a diverse group of individuals united by their shared goal of police accountability.”
On July 14, a person identifying himself as Scottie Roberts posted a detailed account of a traffic stop in Londonderry on copblock.org.
The author of the post claimed he and his wife were traveling through town that morning when a police SUV pulled them over.
He said his wife told police she was driving him to the Parkland Medical Center emergency room because of “severe chest pain” and asked them to call an ambulance.
According to the post’s author, the officers refused to call an ambulance and then asked the couple about the clear inspection sticker on their car.
Noting that clear inspection stickers indicate the vehicle had passed a safety inspection but not an emissions test, police allegedly gave the couple a $62 ticket, charging them with operating an uninspected motor vehicle.
The couple claims police also confiscated their cell phone, claiming it was “evidence.”
The poster identified as Roberts also claimed a second request for an ambulance call was dismissed by the police officers he identified as “Wiggins and Sgt. Mccutherson.”
According to the department’s online roster, Officer Christopher Wiggin and Sgt. Michael McCutcheon are current members of the force.
Roberts claimed one of the officers said, “You don’t need no goddamn ambulance,” and after seeing the CopBlock.org sticker on their car, sent them on their way saying, “Get out of my face. You Cop Blockers make me want to puke.”
This week, Hart said he wouldn’t be discussing details of the case since it remains under investigation.
However, he stressed the importance of citizens speaking up when it comes to their concerns involving the local police.
“The complaint process is an important one because it’s essentially about strengthening the community’s trust in the police department,” Hart said.
He stressed that “every single complaint made to the police department is reviewed and addressed accordingly.”
According to Hart, complaints against Londonderry officers remain relatively rare.
Last year the department received five complaints Hart described as “internal affairs, noting the department has about 65 employees.