Two Colorado Springs police officers were arrested this week and suspended from the force, charged with unrelated counts of perjury and embezzlement.
Officer Michael Shive, who has been on the force for four years, was charged with 2nd degree perjury and 2nd degree misconduct after he admitted he had lied under oath. Last November Shive, accompanied by two other officers, forced his way into a Colorado Springs man's home despite repeatedly being told he could not enter without a warrant. He subsequently lied when obtaining a search warrant, indicating the man had given him permission to enter. The criminal charges were dropped against the man last month when it became clear Shive had perjured himself, and another officer who was present reported the incident to supervisors.
Shive has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of an investigation.
Another officer, Kent Wilson, was charged with theft and public embezzlement, both felonies. According to the CSPD, Wilson, a 10-year veteran of the force, charged $4,300 worth of motorcycle and motocross equipment from a local store to the police department for his own personal use. Also in that case, other officers suspected the wrongdoing and alerted supervisors.
Wilson has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings and an internal investigation.
"Not only are we disappointed, we're quite frankly shocked," said Police Chief Lorne Kramer, who called a press conference on Tuesday to announce the arrests.
According to CSPD Spokesman Lt. Skip Arms, internal affairs investigations are still open on two other officers who have recently been accused of wrongdoing.
Last week, the Independent reported two district court judges dismissed criminal charges in cases involving another CSPD officer, Dale Huston. In one case, District Judge Edward Colt ruled Huston illegally stopped and searched a man's car. In the other, District Judge Peter Booth found Huston had recklessly or deliberately lied under oath. The city is defending Huston in a federal civil lawsuit that alleges the officer conducted a terrorizing no-knock raid on the home of Charles Gibbs who seeks nearly $1 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
In January, another district court judge, Steven Pelican, found that Officer Brian Strickland conducted an illegal search on a man for drugs. Strickland defended himself by saying "the ends justify the means."
After Shive's arrest this week, the public defender whose case was involved, praised the department for cracking down on the rogue cops. However, the attorney, David Jones, said their "knee-jerk" response is not enough.
"Certainly the little bit of cure being exacted against Mr. Shive is a good thing, but it should be done with more uniformity," said Jones, whose office has compiled files on Huston and other officers they believe are pushing the boundaries of constitutional behavior. "There are good cops out there, but there needs to be a bigger realization and effort to realize that this happens all the time."