A Detroit Police sergeant was put in charge of an expensive German watch once belonging to an unidentified murder victim. After the case was re-opened by the department’s homicide division, he was caught wearing the accessory.
Sergeant Alex Vinson, the officer responsible for the property as a form of evidence, has been suspended.
A few months ago, Vinson was placed in charge of the item in question, as the case had gone cold. The police could not find any leads after removing the expensive watch from the murder victim’s body, photographing it, and placing it in storage as evidence.
The case was once again opened earlier this week while Sergeant Alex Vinson was in Idaho undergoing advanced Police training. Going through the evidence, they discovered that the watch in the photograph was not the one in storage. The watch had been replaced by a cheaper model, according to Detroit Police Chief James Craig and CBS News.
— Michael Perkins (@mperkins37) October 11, 2014
The department contacted the FBI for help in finding the expensive watch, and found Sergeant Alex Vinson wearing it during advanced training. Vinson was sent home to Michigan Wednesday, and awaits processing.
While taking property off of citizens who did nothing wrong is unfortunately legal — and called civil forfeiture, according to Last Week Tonight host John Oliver and The Inquisitr — taking evidence and replacing it is still not legal. The latter is considered tampering with evidence, and could make Vinson a suspect in the murder of the unidentified victim, further complicating investigations.
According to The Detroit News, Police Chief James Craig is taking all necessary steps toward punishing the former sergeant.
“We were made aware of this a few nights ago and immediately initiated an internal investigation. We directed (Vinson) to return home…. The case in ongoing, and the sergeant has been suspended while we prepare a warrant for review by prosecutors.”
Craig says that Vinson was read his Miranda rights by Internal Affairs.
Do you think Detroit Police Sergeant Alex Vinson was personally involved in the murder, or was it simply a case of taking evidence as his own and getting caught?
[Image via Blogspot]