Police Lieutenant Arrested for Assault
(IL) – Lt. Wilfredo Roman was booked into the Cook County Jail on September 1. The arrest stemmed from an incident that happened on February 9. Lt. Roman, with the Chicago Police Department, responded to a carjacking call. Two teenagers were taken into custody. While an officer was adjusting the cuffs on the 17-year old, the teen was saying that he had just been out running.
According to Chicago.CBSLocal.com,
Roman told the teen to, “Shut up!” prosecutors said.
Roman then approached the teen from behind and shoved his flashlight between the teen’s buttocks, and told the teen again to, “Shut up!” when the teen yelled out, prosecutors said.
Roman then withdrew the flashlight, walked a short distance away from the teen, and then told him, “That’s what you get for carjacking,” prosecutors said.
Criminal Investigation Conducted
A criminal investigation, along with an internal affairs investigation, were conducted. The whole incident was caught on bodycam video. It was determined that Lt. Wilfredo Roman committed Felony Aggravated Battery, and Official Misconduct. The internal affairs investigation concluded that Lt. Roman violated department policy and he was relieved of his police powers.
Defense Attorney Denies Police Violence
Roman’s defense attorney denied that any harm was done to the teenager and said it was an attempt at de-escalation. When questioned by the judge, the prosecutor “acknowledged that the flashlight did not penetrate the teen’s clothing or skin.” Roman’s defense attorney tried to use that comment as proof of his claims.
It’s his job, as a defense attorney, to do whatever he can to get the best outcome for his client. Regardless of his claims, it was an assault. There is no justification for Lt. Roman’s actions.
What really bothers me is the defense attorney’s insinuation that there is no harm in sexual intimidation. That’s exactly what Lt. Roman’s actions and comment were implying, that the teen would face sexual assault. Sexual intimidation is never acceptable, especially from someone who is supposed to be upholding the law. And it definitely is not taught as a de-escalation technique.
History of Police Misconduct
A look at Lt. Roman’s history shows you everything that is wrong with law enforcement agencies. Lt. Roman is a 21-year veteran who was hired by the Chicago Police Department in 2000. He received over 200 awards during his career and continued to get promoted.
However, during that same time frame, Lt. Roman had a minimum of 40 complaints of police misconduct. Ten of the complaints were for excessive force. He was involved in a civil lawsuit for using a taser on an 82-year old woman. And the City of Chicago had to pay out $200,000 to a man who was shot by Lt. Roman.
That much against one person sure looks like a red flag to me. So what kind of disciplinary action did he face for all of that? Lt. Wilfredo Roman was issued one reprimand when a prisoner escaped his custody. That’s it. That’s the only thing he was found guilty of and disciplined for. The police disciplinary system is broken.
Lt. Roman was booked on the one felony charge and the one misdemeanor charge. He was given a $5,000 bond, but he didn’t have to pay any money. He was allowed to promise to appear and was released from jail.