Witnesses and Police Respond to Controversial Pictures on Facebook
Sunday night, controversial pictures spread throughout social media showing a half-dressed girl sticking her leg inside a police car.
One of the people who took those pictures, Michelle Ramano said her children were in the car with her when she witnessed this and said the behavior seemed inappropriate.
"And my son was like, 'oh look.' So I turn and I see a car parked outside Mami Chulas with a girl sitting, it looked like she was sitting in his lap."
Ramano said after she called the police to inquire about what she saw, she drove back to the scene and saw the officer there again.
"I just decided to drive by again and he was there. (Reporter:) 'So it was the same officer?' Yes it was the same one.'"
Police department spokesperson Joe Baeza said the officer was dispatched there because the two girls made a report that their cell phones were stolen and claims the girls were close to the officer to inquire about the report.
"They were filling out statements. They had questions about the statements and what should be written on statements in regards to location. Both of them have never filled out witness statements before. They are both 19 years old."
Internal affairs investigated the incident today, interviewing the girls at Mami Chulas and Baeza said they found no wrongdoing on the officer’s part.
"The main concern overall is was he there was a legitimate purpose, yes he was. Can he explain to why he was in such close proximity to the two young ladies? Yes he can."
But Ramono said that is not how police act when she has had to call them in the past.
"The problem I have is when I've called police in the past for issues I've had, they always treat me like I'm the bad guy, and two, they don't let me get close to them to show me a text message that I got. I want to show you a text message, 'Oh, ma'am for our safety you need to stand back."
City Council member Esteban Rangel said he saw the picture on Facebook and said the city is looking into it.
"We have had several concerns on that picture that has raised on Facebook and all that. We are looking into it, I spoke to the City Manager about it and he was going to talk to the chief of police to make sure a call was made for a police officer to be there."
Investigator Baeza said officers do not have a choice as to what calls they are dispatched to.
"We don't get to choose what calls we go to. The serve and protect logo on the side of the car doesn't say to serve and protect only a few people. Or people who are fully clothed."
Baeza said Laredo police encourage all residents to call the police department when they have a concern about what they see.
The police department can be reached at 795-2800.