Chandler Police Sgt. Demoted for Singling Out Native Shoplifters

A Chandler police sergeant was recently demoted for ordering her subordinates to book all Native American shoplifters rather than cite them.
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Sgt. Sue Freeman, just shy of her 20 years of service, recently lost her rank as Chandler, Arizona police sergeant following an internal-affairs investigation that found her guilty of singling out American Indian shoplifting suspects for being booked into jail.

According to an article by Jim Walsh for azcentral.com, Freeman almost lost her job when she ordered her subordinates to jail Natives rather than cite and release with a ticket for the crime.

“We are a professional organization,” Chandler police spokesman Joe Favazzo said via azfamily.com. “When allegations of misconduct are presented to us, we look at them very seriously and we act on them quickly.”

According to Favazzo, Freeman’s fellow officers refused her orders and informed a lieutenant who pursued the internal investigation.

Chandler borders the Gila River Reservation and has been an area of chronic shoplifting azcentral.com reports. Favazzo said no one would have objected if the subordinates were ordered to book all shoplifting suspects to make a strong statement. Instead multiple officers recall hearing the singling out of Natives with one saying he heard it more than six times.

The demotion to officer took effect October 16, with an agreement to leave the department by December 31, 2014, or when she reaches her 20 years of service to qualify for her pension the internal-affairs report stated via azcentral.com.

“Sometimes police have to police themselves, and that’s exactly what these officers did,” Favazzo said via azfamily.com.