A Texas cop is in hot water following claims by an 18-year-old girl that he offered to take care of two traffic tickets for her in exchange for naked photos.
According to sworn affidavits, Baytown police officer Michael Coppock told the driver that he would change two tickets into warnings, and then contacted her on social media.
Now the subject of both a criminal and internal affairs investigation, Coppock, 33, had ticketed the girl for speeding and having an expired vehicle registration.
Investigators said a search warrant for Coppock’s cell phone was obtained after police viewed screenshots of the conversations, which did include nude pictures.
Officers reportedly characterized the messages as “clearly coercive in nature,” and said they showed that Coppock was “putting pressure” on the teen to send him the photos.
Coppock, a nine year veteran of the Baytown police department, has not responded to the allegations and a department spokesperson said he wouldn’t comment on the ongoing investigation.
According the spokesperson, Coppock is still employed by the department but has been pulled off patrol duty. He has not yet been criminally charged.
The investigations raises further concerns that the 18-year-old girl is not the only one that has been propositioned by the officer for lewd pictures.
“Has more than one woman been extorted in this manner?” retired federal agent and criminal justice professor, Larry Karson asked.
Karson, who teaches at the University of Houston Downtown, reviewed sworn affidavits and search warrants related to the case. He said if other victims of Coppock come forth, it could signify a “hidden subculture within the department.”
Local news coverage:
Police officers routinely use their positions to take of advantage of female suspects. In one of the most notable cases, a part time River Rouge, Michigan cop claimed in a federal lawsuit that one of his sergeants released a suspect without arrest or citation in exchange for oral sex.
In another, a woman alleged in a lawsuit that a Horry County, South Carolina officer sexually assaulted her and demanded she participate in nude, videotaped “cat fights” after she reported a rape to his department.
In yet another case, a Columbia County, New York deputy was arrested after being charged with second degree unwarranted surveillance after he took nude photos of a woman and posted them online without her knowledge or consent.