Four more Bradenton police officers file a complaint with the police chief

Bradenton Police Chief Melanie Bevan speaks at a press conference March 7, 2019.

Bradenton Police Chief Melanie Bevan speaks at a press conference March 7, 2019.

Four additional former and current Bradenton Police Department employees have filed complaints with the Chief of Police.

An affidavit sent to Mayor Jean Brown from the four police officers said the commanding officers facilitated illegal arrests and thefts from officers. Mike McHale, president of the Southwest Florida Police Charity Association, said: We have asked Brown to investigate the allegations.

On August 8, McHale wrote to the mayor requesting an investigation. Bradenton Police Chief Melanie Bevan Alleged ‘Illegal Search’ Responding to an arrest warrant reported by a former Bradenton police officer. The police officer who filed her complaint and her husband have since resigned from her department.

Before: Union investigation shows frustration with Bradenton Police Department leadership

In case you missed: Bradenton police chief calls illegal search allegations ‘defamatory’

Since then, officers in the division have begun to oppose the commander’s actions, which they say “endangered all citizens of Bradenton, including all BPD officers.”

“They are literally on the brink of a complete nervous breakdown.”

PBA General Counsel Stephanie Webster said the complaints filed within the past two weeks were the culmination of the past two years of deteriorating relations. She said the union has been trying to bring the complaint to the mayor’s attention for some time.

“I’ve had several[police officers]whose doctors have had to prescribe anxiety medication,” Webster said. I do, because I fear the chiefs and the administration more than the street thugs.”

The Herald Tribune was unable to reach Brown for comment on the latest complaint filed by former and current police officers. In an August 9 email to his McHale, Brown wrote that the initial complaint against Bevan and the Home Office is currently under administrative investigation and cannot be discussed, but will be added to the investigation file. there is

A representative for the Bradenton Police Department said no additional statements were available from Bevan as the investigation was ongoing.

In response to earlier allegations of an alleged illegal search, Bevan said in the letter that it was “no coincidence” that the PBA and McHale had launched their criticism amid stalled labor contract negotiations.

“The PBA has clearly neglected its responsibility for successfully negotiating contracts with its members and is shifting responsibility and accountability elsewhere,” Bevan said in the letter.

McHale said union contract negotiations are another matter.

“Feeling of betrayal”

The first affidavit and complaint listed was from Police Sergeant Bradenton. Joseph Kelly. After his wife committed suicide, Bevan and her BPD commander tried to “intercept” her phone calls, Kelly said in his affidavit. Kelly said in his affidavit that he suspected this was related to a possible affair between former Deputy Chief of Staff Paul McQuaid and his wife.

Joseph Kelly said in an affidavit, “From multiple officers who attended a training seminar in which St. Pete’s officers were also trained, St. Pete’s officers told BPD officers to ‘take your wife from Deputy Commissioner McQuade.’ I heard he reprimanded me to hide it.

Joseph Kelly was married to Eva Kelly, a dispatcher from the city of Bradenton, who committed suicide on December 2, 2019. Her death was investigated by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and her phone was seized by detectives. During the investigation, according to the complaint, BPD commanders attempted to access Joseph Kelly’s phone before returning to it.

The commanding officer went as far as assigning a “Buddy Officer” ostensibly to assist Joseph Kelly, but instead was asked to “intercept” Eva Kelly’s phone calls.

Joseph Kelly said McQuade ordered Det. If there was an opportunity to follow him to Patrick Mahoney and get Eva Kelly’s phone without his knowledge. , said Mahoney spent a good deal of time at his house.

In an affidavit, Joseph Kelly said, “It is incomprehensible to know now that BPD paid police officers to spy on me and steal my property under the guise of compassion and sympathy.

Joseph Kelly called a meeting with Bevan, and he claimed that she wanted information from Eva Kelly’s phone call and that she admitted that McQuaid was involved, he claimed, according to his affidavit. Joseph said the police department contacted an evidence technician at the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office to obtain Eva’s phone.

Joseph recalled, “The sense of betrayal I felt after learning that the ‘managers’ within BPD plotted to steal my late wife’s phone at the lowest point in my life. It cannot be overstated.

Mahoney confirmed Joseph’s statements in an affidavit. He wrote that he was commanded to “stick” to Joseph after Eva’s suicide. He claimed that McQuaid wanted to prevent Joseph from learning of Eva’s telephone communications.

“It was clear that Deputy Commissioner McQuaid had no regard for Sergeant Kelly’s personal property or his Fourth Amendment right not to be unlawfully seized,” Mahoney said in an affidavit.

At Eva’s funeral, McQuaid allegedly instructed Mahoney and former detective Christopher Capdarest to arrest her ex-husband if he showed up, even though there was no basis for the arrest.

Mahoney said in an affidavit, “I remember Deputy Chief McQuaid specifically telling Lieutenant Capdarest to find something to arrest him.

Capdarest confirmed this in an affidavit.

“While I was not provided a valid justification for ordering the arrest of Eva Kelly’s ex-husband, this is a testament to the BPD commanders’ willingness to violate the Constitution and the Fourth Amendment. This is a typical example.

suspicion of wrongdoing

Officers also complained of misconduct facilitated by commanding officers when officers conducted their investigations.

Mahoney said that while working on the investigation into the murder of Tara Riley, commanding officers, including Bevan, asked officers to illegally arrest the suspect.

He contacted a suspect who could identify Riley’s killer, but the suspect did not cooperate with the investigation.

Bevan asked if the suspect had a valid driver’s license and suggested he should be arrested for crashing into his car and driving with a suspended license, the officers claimed.

In an affidavit, Mr Mahoney said, “Sheikh Bevan even suggested that private trucks be turned back, power cut off, and children separated from their guardians.

The suspect at the time was also in the hospital recovering from surgery, and Mahoney was told by the state attorney’s office to stay away from the suspect. He filed a warrant for his arrest, but it was denied.

he told the interior ministry. Kurla said he could not arrest anyone because he knew the state would not prosecute.

“At that point, Home Secretary Kurla said, ‘If you think he’s been arrested, that’s his problem,'” Mahoney said in the report.

Bradenton Police Lieutenant Shannon Seymour also attended the same meeting and confirmed Mahoney’s statements. He wrote that Bevan encouraged officers to engage in criminal activity to get suspects to talk.

Another complaint centered on Christopher Heron, who was assigned by Bevan to work in the police department’s Special Investigations Unit despite not being sworn in as a police officer, Mahoney wrote in an affidavit. Mahoney said Heron initiated a traffic stop while driving a police car, but was told not to do so by his superiors.

“Chief Bevan failed to inform me that Mr. Heron had not sworn to serve in the BPD and that he had authorized Mr. Heron to act as if he were a sworn BPD officer.

Mahoney wrote that Herron was physically abusive and would use his relationship with Bevan to avoid complaints.

“Enabling Chief Bevan’s repeated acts of violence against Mr. Heron endangered all citizens of Bradenton, including all BPD officers,” Mahoney said.

Of the four who filed complaints, only Capdarest resigned. Capdarest said in his affidavit that he resigned after being threatened with dismissal during an internal affairs investigation.

Before starting to record the interview, investigators told him that if the chief thought he was covering up something, he would be fired.

“I was terrified when the recorder first worked,” Capdarest wrote in a complaint. “My son was only a few months old at the time, so I was afraid of losing his job and his ability to support his family.”

He said they threatened to fire him at least a dozen times. Most of the time, the recorder was off during his interviews, he wrote in his affidavit.

Webster said the union will continue to support police officers who file complaints and try to change the trajectory of the department.

“I think they were saying, ‘We’re done. If we don’t save this institution, we’ll never get through it.'”

This article originally appeared in the Sarasota Herald Tribune. Bradenton police officers lodge a complaint against the chief of police