Trooper Eric Richardson, 31, of New Jersey has been suspended and criminally charged for the second time in six months after being accused of pulling over women to harass them and ask them out.
Using his authority, he threatened to arrest women who did not respond to his advances the way he’d expect. When rebuffed by the women, he falsified paper work to cover up his actions.
As reported by Breanna Edwards at The Root:
For the second time in six months, a New Jersey state trooper has been suspended and criminally charged after being accused of pulling over women to ask them out.
According to NJ.com, Trooper Eric Richardson, 31, was charged Wednesday with records tampering after an internal investigation found that he repeatedly pulled over two women to pressure them into dating him and then lied on paperwork in order to cover it up.
“We’re policing our own personnel,” State Police spokesperson Capt. Brian Polite told the news site.
According to a statement from the state Division of Criminal Justice, Richardson stopped the women on state roads and “harassed” them about “initiating a personal relationship,” between August 2016 and January of this year.
He allegedly tried to “ingratiate” himself with the woman by not impounding their unregistered vehicles.
Already in a vulnerable position, Eric Richardson used his position of power thinking he could do away with as he pleased- especially as he had done the same without consequence once before. As the matter was not handled appropriately he got away with harassment the first time, he was free to reoffend under the impression that he would go unpunished.
At one point, Richardson pulled over a woman and, upon discovering she had an active warrant, threatened to arrest her unless she gave him her phone number. He also allegedly communicated with that same woman via social media and text message.
An investigation by the State Police’s internal affairs office later found out that Richardson falsely reported to dispatchers that he had pulled over a man on Dec. 23, when he had actually pulled over one of the women he was preying on, authorities say.
He also allegedly falsely reported in an official dispatch log that he had stopped to aid a motorist on Jan 3 when he actually had stopped the other woman “to ask her if she still had the same phone number.”
Further evidence of his wrong doing and his trying to cover up his tracks is that he would in lawfully turn of his dash cam, during some of his stops.
Richardson is accused of deactivating his dashcam on his troop car during some of the stops.
Richardson faces charges for his alleged coverup, including third-degree tampering with public records or information and fourth-degree falsifying or tampering with records. If convicted, according to NJ.com, he faces up to five years in state prison.
Trooper Richardson went directly against his oath to protect an serve. Instead his actions further distrust between civilians and officers as his misconduct does nothing to mend the wrought relationship much of law enforcement has with the general public.
How do you think justice should be served in this case? Do you think the maximum penalty of 5 years in prison is appropriate, or do you think the loss of his livelihood is sufficient? Have your say in the comments below.
(Article By Tasha Sharifa)