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I-Team: City Mgr. says FBI will not investigate BCPD

Updated: Saturday, August 3, 2013 |
I-Team: City Mgr. says FBI will not investigate BCPD story image
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The FBI has decided that they will not investigate the Battle Creek Police Department, according to the Battle Creek City Manager. Instead, the FBI is asking individuals to come forward with allegations. If those allegations meet a federal crime, they may then investigate.

On Friday, Police Chief Jackie Hampton revealed that he asked the FBI to examine his department three weeks ago.

For months, Newschannel 3 has investigated allegations of corruption within the BCPD, and our I-Team has been there from the start.

City Manager Ken Tsuchiyama told Newschannel 3 that what has been presented so far is not specific enough to investigate, but that doesn't necessarily mean the issue is over.

"My dad has a saying--put up or shut up," Chief Hampton told Newschannel 3. "I think that needs to occur in this case, because it has been going on for quite a while."

City Commissioner Jeff Domenico wrote, along with Commissioner Dave Walters in an email to the Michigan Attorney General, "We truly feel we can paint an appropriate picture of the culture within our police department and back it up with documentation."

The email included a letter from an unnamed Battle Creek police officer, who wrote, "I have watched police officers in my department commit acts of excessive force, evidence destruction, and internal cover-ups in crime reporting."

The email alleges that the unnamed officer has been met with death threats and lack of backups during investigations.

The Attorney General declined to investigate.

The department has been criticized for its handling of last summer's case of an off-duty officer who was caught drinking and driving, after he crashed a car with another drunk officer inside.

This week, Newschannel 3 broke the news that veteran Officer Laurie Gillespie was fired after surveillance cameras in a police locker room caught her stealing.

City Commissioner Domenico declined comment Friday night, and only said he will ask State Police to step in.

Newschannel 3 asked Michigan State Police Detective Lieutenant Chuck Christensen Friday, and he told us that City Manager Tsuchiyama recently sent an email asking about the process.

He instructed to file complaints to the BCPD internal affairs first--something Hampton echoes.
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