St. Martinville Police Chief Ricky Martin recently weighed in about a case in which a former officer who was found guilty of abusing his police powers.
Codi Dodge, a former deputy chief of investigations with the St. Martinville Police Department, was found guilty of using excessive force during an arrest, three counts of obstruction and conspiracy in order to cover up his misdeeds by a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, a posting by the Daily Iberian said.
Martin told the Louisiana Record that he was disappointed in an officer of the law abusing his power. Though Martin said he was not familiar with the specific facts of the case, he did say he has heard from others about Dodge's poor track record.
"He (Dodge) was employed under a different administration," Martin said. "From what I was told, apparently, he was a very aggressive guy and used his 'power' as a police officer to intimidate and abuse others, which in my eyes is totally unacceptable and cannot be tolerated."
One example of this misuse of power occurred on August 13, 2016 when
Dodge allegedly forced his way into the home of an individual who Dodge suspected had stolen something of his, the Daily Iberian posting said. The police officer then proceeded to hit the individual repeatedly before arresting him and then brought him back to the St. Martinville Police Department, where Dodge continued to threaten him. Dodge later allegedly conspired with others to falsify information in a report to the FBI, who was investigating the incident.
Dodge was found guilty an could face a sentence of up to 55 years in prison.
"Guys like this give all law enforcement officers a bad image and must be held accountable for their actions," Martin said.
Martin's comment follow those of Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Gore, who told the Daily Iberian, “Illegal conduct by officers who abuse their power and violate the civil rights of the citizens they promise to serve harms the public trust and will not be tolerated.”