Latest in a series of posts about the Bethlehem Police
ref: The FOP president defends his officer (June 19, 2020)
ref: FOP president to Council: “If you want to work together to make our community even stronger, we’re here to work with you” (June 22, 2020)
I wasn’t aware of your questions until recently, but for the sake of those who may have questions about this incident in the future, I’ll try my best to answer them. The defendant was interviewed by our Professional Standards Division (Internal Affairs). In an official video-recorded statement to the investigators, the defendant made numerous criminal allegations regarding the involved officer. These statements were contradicted by both in-car and body worn cameras. The defendant’s interview and both videos from the incident were shown to members of City Council. Councilwoman Negron and Van Wirt did not watch the presentation shown by now Chief Kott. I reached out to Negron and Van Wirt and requested they approach the Police admin to watch the videos. Dr. Van Wirt never responded to my emails, and several months later I ran into Councilwoman Negron who informed me she never approached the Police admin to view the footage and she did not intend to. The search was a consent search which was legal and on video. The officer did park the defendant’s vehicle and provided him with a ride home after he was fingerprinted. The FOP does not control when or if videos are released to the public. We believe if this video was released, it would have immediately ended any concern as I believe it was handled so well it could be used as a training aid on how to be professional during a traffic stop. Also, just to clarify, New St. is about 10 blocks from where the officer was parked monitoring the intersection. The defendant didn’t “detour a bit” 10 blocks. I’d be happy to answer any other questions in the future.
Officer William Audelo
Bethlehem Police Department
Tip o’ the hat to Officer Audelo for providing further information on this episode that, as followers might remember, troubled Gadfly.