A San Jose police officer has been accused of masturbating inside the home of a San Jose family during a call for service, according to multiple sources who spoke to NBC Bay Area.
The allegations come during an already-tumultuous couple of weeks for the department. Earlier this week, NBC Bay Area first broke the news that an officer was placed on leave for allegedly responding to the Baby Brandon kidnapping while intoxicated.
Sources with knowledge of that case said the officer had a blood alcohol level of 0.139 – nearly twice the legal limit.
Last week, the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that rookie officer De'Jon Packer recently died of a fentanyl overdose.
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Multiple sources with direct knowledge of the case told NBC Bay Area that Packer was at a party with fellow police officers the night before he died.
On Tuesday, San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata confirmed an officer with the department was on leave while being investigated for sexual misconduct, but declined to divulge any details.
While it's still unclear what kind of call the officer was responding to, sources told NBC Bay Area members of the family walked in on the officer during the act and reported him. People in the department are left wondering what could have prompted such a shocking act from the officer, according to sources.
“If these allegations are proven to be true, then this person has no place in law enforcement,” said Sean Pritchard, president of the SJPD Police Officers Association. “Having these different incidents has really led us to a place where we want to take a much harder look at our hiring process, our backgrounding process and really see if there’s something that’s being missed.”
Legal analyst Steven Clark weighed in on the bizarre string of events involving San Jose officers.
“This has been a scandalous week for the San Jose Police Department,” said legal analyst Steven Clark.
He added that these repeated instances of misbehavior have a ripple effect in the community, and can tarnish law enforcement in general when it comes to trust.
“Even though this only involves a small number of officers, there’s a spillover effect that people will start to wonder what’s going on at the San Jose Police Department when you think of this number of incidents in such a short period of time,” said Clark.
The legal analyst said the DA’s office will likely review every case involving these officers because defense attorneys are sure to use the misconduct to poke holes in prosecutors’ cases.
“You could see cases being overturned or cases being dismissed – because once an officer’s credibility is called into question the entire case can fall apart,” said Clark.
No argument from the police union.
“We want to ensure that the public does trust us and really understands again that this is not who we are,” said Pritchard.