The police chief and an officer in the small town of Berthoud, Colo. have been put on leave and are under an internal investigation. For days it was largely a mystery as to why, but a woman has come forward claiming it is because she allegedly caught an officer beating his daughter on video.
The tape, obtained by KDVR, shows a darkened figure of a man standing over a child or teen who is on the floor crying. The man can be heard asking the girl, "You had what?" She replies "carrots," and the man appears to hit the girl before saying "exactly," and kicking her.
While the video has not yet been confirmed to be legitimate, an emergency town-hall meeting hosted by Berthoud officials on Tuesday night revealed that an officer and the police chief have been placed on leave and are reportedly under a criminal investigation by the Loveland police and the Larimer County District Attorney.
The woman who sent the tape has remained anonymous as of Wednesday and told KDVR that she sent the tape to Berthoud Police Chief Glenn Johnson in an email in April and the police chief did nothing about it.
She claimed that the man in the tape was a police officer with the Berthoud Police Department and her ex-boyfriend.
During the packed town-hall meeting, citizens were told that town officials received an email accusing a Berthoud police officer of domestic abuse on Sept. 25 and that Loveland police were investigating the officer in question. After being informed of the investigation, Chief Johnson placed the officer on leave but shortly after, Johnson's computers were seized by Loveland police and Johnson was also placed on leave.
However the town-hall frustrated many residents because it was so brief and they weren't able to get their questions answered.
"How can they say they're being completely transparent and then not let anyone ask any questions at all?" Berthoud resident Amber Davis said in a report by The Denver Post.
Numerous media reports are identifying the officer being accused of domestic abuse as Jeremy Yachik, who was also reportedly accused of domestic abuse when he worked briefly with the Trinidad Police Department but resigned during the investigation, according to a report by the Loveland Reporter-Herald.
On Monday, a website for the town of Berthoud said that while an investigation has been ongoing, no charges have been filed.
Days before that, the website posted:
In the last several days the Town of Berthoud has received numerous inquiries regarding allegations made against several of its police officers. The Town has not substantiated any of the allegations, and the police officers of the Town, like other citizens, are presumed innocent until proven otherwise. However, in order to instill confidence in the citizens of the Town, and to ensure that the police department is fully capable of serving and protecting Town members, the officers against whom the allegations have been made have been placed on temporary administrative leave. In the interim, the Town has engaged the services of an independent agency to conduct an internal investigation and to assist the Berthoud police department in their day to day operations. While the investigation is pending the Town is not able to provide any further details, or to comment further.
In the meantime, the Larimer County Sheriff's Office has supplied an interim police chief who is directing police operations.