City of Cody Concludes Internal Investigation of Cody Officer’s Traffic Stop
Written by Andrew-Rossi on June 19, 2023
The City of Cody released new information about the ongoing internal investigation involving a Cody law enforcement officer.
“This disclosure aims to enhance transparency, address public inquiries, and uphold the City of Cody’s standards of professional conduct in law enforcement,” reads a June 15 press release.
The investigation relates to a traffic stop conducted by Cody Police Officer Blake Stinson on Jan. 24, 2023, that was later posted on the channel LackLuster with footage taken from Officer Stinson’s body camera. During the traffic stop, an underage driver is arrested and charged with interfering with a peace officer and possessing a controlled substance. The charges were later dismissed.
Many viewers were upset by the video, and soon social media was full of outrage from people inside and outside Cody.
Cody Police Chief Chuck Baker acknowledged the incident in a May 24 statement when he announced the investigation into the formal complaint.
“We are committed to taking appropriate corrective actions should the findings of the investigation determine that the employee’s conduct was inappropriate, excessive, or inconsistent with the responsibilities of the role. We appreciate the community’s patience and understanding as we work diligently to review this matter. We also ask the community to understand that some videos and social media content which show portions of the video have been edited and narrated to show selective parts of the interaction and do not necessarily tell the whole story.”
Officer Stinson was placed on paid administrative leave in late May.
In the latest release, the City of Cody announced the internal investigation had concluded. No findings of the investigation are available at this time.
During the investigation, the City of Cody identified and located the pedestrian involved in the incident leading to the traffic stop. The involved pedestrian has corroborated Officer Stinson’s subsequent affidavit, substantiating his account of the incident.
The City of Cody once again clarified the charges in the case were not dismissed due to dishonesty on the part of the involved officer. Instead, the charges were dismissed for procedural reasons ‘so that they may be dealt with at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner.’
The City is currently reviewing and thoroughly examining all information pertaining to the case. In addition, the City is contracting a third party to review the City’s investigation process, findings, and related Cody Police Department policies.
“This step will take additional time, and the City will provide updates as information becomes available,” according to the City of Cody. Officer Stinson remains on paid administrative leave until the entire process concludes.
If any Cody resident wishes to provide comments or information pertinent to the investigation, they may do so by calling (307) 527-8709 or emailing email@example.com.