An Atlanta police detective says she was retaliated against for blowing the whistle on other officers stealing during a crime bust.
16 year veteran Charron Walters says the incident stemmed from a 2011 chop shop investigation on Regina Drive. Walters says, while serving thesearch warrant, she saw investigators steal car parts, from a truck.
“I’m trained to recognize crime, I know what I recognized that day, they asked me about it, I spoke up about it,” Detective Charron Walters said. “They asked me specifically who did you see take the items, and I had to tell them who I saw take the lights.”
Since, reporting the allegations to the Office of Professional Standards, Walters says she has faced backlash, has been transferred four times and is now off the streets on a desk job, filling open records requests.
Walters has sought action against her retaliators, but when the case was brought before a Fulton County Superior Judge, the court found that Walters’ testimony “failed to establish the essential elements of a retaliation claim.”
Walter’s attorneys are filing an appeal claiming that they were never served a copy of the motion for summary judgement.
“We are really going to have to fight our way through the legal system,” one of Walters’ attorneys, Jennifer Wright said. “We have good officers out there, officers that want to do a good job and we need the courts to support that.”
The president of the Atlanta police union, says officers often have a difficult time proving that “transfers” are retaliation.
As a result of Walters actions, several officers involved in the bust were given written reprimands for failing to ensure evidence was “properly documented and turned in” but the report fails to mention theft.
“It creates a level of fear within the department, it is fear based people [being] afraid of speaking out that creates corruption,” Walters said.
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