Cody Police Department Responds to YouTube Video of “Officer Misconduct”
Written by Andrew-Rossi on May 24, 2023
The Cody Police Department released a statement on Wednesday, May 24, responding to a viral YouTube video involving a Cody Police officer.
LackLuster is a popular YouTube channel that publishes videos of law enforcement officers getting into altercations with a mission to expose “dirty cops.” A video posted earlier this week featured a traffic stop conducted by Officer Blake Stinson on January 24, 2023. In the video, an underage driver is arrested for interference and possession of a controlled substance after a tense exchange.
Since its publication, the video has been viewed over 445,000 times. Many viewers were upset by the video, and soon social media was full of outrage from people inside and outside Cody. Some even took their rage to the Cody Police Department Facebook page.
Cody Police Chief Chuck Baker issued a statement on behalf of the Cody Police Department. In summary, the Department and the City of Cody know about and are investigating the incident.
Chief Baker said the results of the ongoing investigation will not be shared with the public “due to state laws which restrict the disclosure of that information.” He also requested the residents remember that this is an edited YouTube video, and videos of this time may be (and likely are) edited to depict the incident in the worst way possible.
The statement is published in its entirety below:
We are aware of the viral videos of the traffic stop made by a Cody Police Officer earlier this year involving a minor. Many in the public have shared their concerns that the officer’s actions during that encounter were inconsistent with the standards of conduct expected from our law enforcement personnel.
A formal complaint was filed approximately two weeks ago regarding the incident, and the department is conducting an Administrative Investigation of the allegations and a complete review of the interaction in its entirety. The City of Cody and the Cody Police Department have a well-established process for reviewing an officer’s actions to determine whether they were consistent with our established standards.
This investigation is underway, and we are committed to performing a thorough review to ensure accountability. We will not be able to release the results of that investigation and any action that may be taken as a result of that investigation due to state laws which restrict the disclosure of that information.
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.
In some of the comments and social media content on this matter, there are allegations that the charges against the minor were dismissed because the officer made false statements in his report. This is inaccurate. Any charges that have been dismissed were dismissed by the Park County Attorney’s office for procedural reasons so that the charges can be dealt with at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner.
Maintaining the confidence of the community we serve is of the highest importance to the City of Cody. We know that any encounter with any City employee —positive, neutral, or negative—can impact the confidence and trust of the public in your local government. We are dedicated to upholding the community’s confidence through a diligent review of the matter.
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