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Irwindale Officer Says Rights Were Violated, Files Federal Lawsuit

By Shel Segal for the Pasadena Independent

A lawsuit was filed in federal court late last month by an Irwindale police officer who claims his civil rights and right to privacy were violated, according to a published report.

The officer, whose name is Manuel Campos, said his rights were violated when he was subject to a search of his locker, was required to give a urine sample in front of his superiors and was detained without representation from a lawyer or union representative, the report said.

City Manager John Davidson said in that report that he declined to comment on the lawsuit because it is pending litigation. The allegations stem from an Aug. 17, 2013 incident where a woman called the police station to complain that an Irwindale police officer, whose description matched Campos’, had taken her and her friends to a bar in a marked police cruiser and the officer drank an alcoholic beverage while in uniform and on duty.

She said the officer came back to her home and they engaged in sexual conduct, according to the lawsuit. The caller did not know Campos’ name, but said she had some of his property.

That same day Campos had asked his supervisor if he could drive to Covina to visit a family member at a hospital during his shift. His supervisor agreed. Campos said he was at the pizza parlor in Covina that the caller referenced. Campos told his supervisors he believed the woman was trying to make false allegations against him. As Campos’ supervisors investigated the incident, Campos alleges he was detained and was not allowed to go to the bathroom.

Campos said Sgt. George Zendejas, who is named in the lawsuit, denied him union representation and an attorney. Zendejas said in that report that he declined to comment on the lawsuit. Campos was also required to provide a urine sample while one of his supervisors was watching, according to the lawsuit. Campos opened his locker and his superiors confiscated his uniform, gun belt and other personal items.

“As Campos stood inside of the locker room completely naked, he was completely humiliated, embarrassed, and ashamed for the way he was being viewed and treated by Zendejas and Sergeant Gatto,” according to the lawsuit. Campos was placed on administrative leave and escorted from the police station. “The allegations that were made against Campos were ultimately unfounded however he did receive a written reprimand for being outside of the city, despite the fact that Campos had received permission to be outside of the city,” according to the lawsuit.

(Shel Segal can be reached at [email protected]. He can be followed via Twitter @segallanded.)

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Source Beacon Media News