Bret Witte, bumbling Fargo cop, suspended for posting photo of evidence on Facebook [IMAGE]
Witte lost two days worth of dough for this post.
In June, Fargo PD Detective Bret Witte posted a photo of cash he'd seized while executing a search warrant (image above). As you'd expect, posting photos of evidence on social media violates Fargo PD policy, and Witte was suspended for two days without pay in August.
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The suspension -- news of which broke just last week following an information request from the Fargo Forum newspaper -- is the latest in a string of gaffes for Witte, who we first told you about last spring in the context of a story about two Minnesota teens who stole a police radio and said "Fuck the police" while driving around Moorhead. Following that incident, Witte was officially reprimanded for leaving the radio, a bulletproof vest, handcuffs, a Taser, knife, and loaded ammunition clips in his unlocked vehicle.
Turns out, Witte's history of gaffes extends back much further than that. From the Fargo Forum:
Witte was disciplined in December 2010 for conducting a controlled drug buy without backup officers, putting himself and the confidential informant at greater risk...
Witte also lost 15 days without pay in 2002 after admitting to supervisors he had sexual relations in his squad car with an 18-year-old woman he was dating at the time...
"Although the policies that were violated were different, the underlying problem of poor decision making is the common theme in each of these incidents," [Fargo PD Investigations Lieutenant Joel] Vettel wrote.
In the case of the Facebook post, Witte told his superiors he didn't realize there was a policy against publishing photos of evidence on social media, despite the fact that just a month prior he had participated in a staff meeting where the department's 'dissemination of information' policy was reviewed.
In Witte's most recent disciplinary order, Fargo Police Chief Keith Ternes admonished, "You must recognize that any future violations of department policy may result in discipline up to and including the termination of your employment." In order words, in the Fargo PD, it's (at least) five strikes and you're out... maybe.
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