Former "El Protector" cleared of wrongdoing
Officer Abraham Diaz, formerly known as “El Protector,” has now been cleared of any wrongdoing.
The announcement came from Attorney George Altgelt who says he hopes this experience will teach an important lesson to the police department.
Altgelt says accusations against Diaz were false from the beginning and police simply rushed to conclusions. He even says he hopes the police department will learn from the entire experience.
“My name was tarnished and that’s one of the reasons why we got us as a family,” says Diaz.
With his family at his side, Officer Abraham Diaz, formerly known as "El Protector", hopes to clear his name after a memo written back in February by Police Chief Carlos Maldonado.
In it Maldonado explained Diaz had been suspended for ten days after being found incoherent behind the wheel of his vehicle, with his department issued weapon, portable radio, and handcuffs.
“He pulled out a rubber stamp and rubber stamped the disciplinary board's decision.”
George Altgetlt, attorney for Diaz says the chief was wrong, did not look at all the evidence, and simply approved the rush to judgment by investigators.
In a recent hearing, an arbitrator decided that the decision is overturned and Diaz be reimbursed for the ten days.
But a spokesperson for the department says the chief doesn't agree with that decision.
“He adamantly stands by his decision and respectfully disagrees with the decision made in the hearing but respects the decision and will abide by the rules,” Baeza said.
Police say after gathering all the evidence, there is plenty of proof that Diaz was intoxicated.
Diaz says that was never the case.
For now Diaz will continue serving as a patrol officer, but says he and those who have supported him regret that programs like "El Protector" and "Shattered Dreams" have not continued.
“Much was lost in this process.”
Diaz says in retrospect he enjoys going back on patrol and it allowed him to get caught up with new systems.
Police officials say they hope to move on with their mission of safe guarding the community.
They say part of that mission is making sure that the department and its employees are held to the highest standards.