UTICA - A Utica Police Officer is under investigation following the traffic stop of a young woman in the city last month. Fearing there could be other young women like her out there, that young woman is talking publicly about her experience.
21 year old Heather Scott was on her way to work at a diner at around 5 a.m. on a late September morning when she says an officer pulled her over on Oriskany Boulevard for "touching the center line."
Scott thought it was odd that the officer handcuffed her, then patted her down, and put her in his cruiser after she had already blown a zero on a Breathalyzer test. She says that after repeatedly asking her if she was under the influence of something, the officer let her go. Scott's father made a few calls to police, the Oneida County District Attorney's Office and Public Safety Commissioner and claims it's what he learned the officer didn't do that bothered him the most.
"Come to find out he never even called in my pull over," Scott said. "He pulled me over but never called it in. So, if he would have needed back up or anything, my pullover was never called in. So if anything would have been done no one would have known about it because there was no record of my being pulled over."
Utica's Public Safety Commissioner, Philip Taurisano, says the departments conduct two separate investigations in these cases, and takes step to preserve the integrity of both.
"They're not comparing notes," Taurisano said. "One is doing a criminal investigation, the other is doing an internal investigation. We take any allegations against a police officer very seriously-we work on them immediately."
Commissioner Taurisano can't talk about specifics of this ongoing investigation but says officers are required to call all traffic stops into a dispatcher.
The officer has been reassigned during the investigation, but there's no time frame for when it will be complete.
*D.A. investigates allegations of police misconduct with young women