One New York police officer is having trouble finding an attorney to represent him, and the police union has decided not to help him with his defense.
What did Officer Sean Christian do that is so awful? He’s accused of sending a suspect’s nude photos to his own cell phone.
Pamela Held was arrested in 2013 for not having an inspection sticker on her car, and she was later processed on a misdemeanor charge when police found prescription drugs in her car. All of the charges were later dropped.
Held decided to file a lawsuit when she and her boyfriend discovered that photos had been sent from her cell phone to a phone belonging to Christian. Held had given police her security code when she was arrested and police had it in their possession during the six hours she was in custody.
Held contacted the NYPD Internal Affairs who set up a recorded phone call between Held and Christian. During the call, Officer Christian flirted with Held and admitted that he has the photos. Initially, Christian had denied that he had the photos, saying that the unknown number on Held’s phone was his brother’s number.
Christian was transferred to another precinct, placed on probation, and he lost 45 days of vacation. However, Held is maintaining that Christian violated her Fifth Amendment rights by holding her phone while she was in custody, and that other officers violated her Fourth Amendment rights by pulling her over without reasonable suspicion.
Ironically, Held says she’s worried about the photos winding up on the internet. Why in the world would she have nude photos on her phone in the first place?
A spokesman for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association says the decision to not help Officer Christian with his defense was made because the case ‘was not a situation in the performance of his duty as a police officer’ and that it stemmed from ‘personal’ actions.