Cops in Cook County, Illinois, are under scrutiny after one woman has accused them of taking nude photos of her deceased daughter. KFOR News Channel 4 reports that when 20-year-old Jessica Mejia was killed in a 2009 car accident, multiple photos were taken of her naked body — something that her mother feels was done inappropriately. The woman’s attorney argues that her 20-year-old deceased daughter was treated in an undignified fashion by male officers.
“This was a young lady that just died and was treated with less dignity than a deer carcass you find on the side of the road.”
The lawsuit initiated by Mejia’s mother asserts that officers “improperly removed her clothing” before taking nude photos of her at the scene of the car accident. CBS Chicago reported on this lawsuit when it was filed in 2010 — a year after the tragic death of Jessica Mejia. Now the actual trial is expected to begin on Monday, and authorities with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office maintain that their officers didn’t do anything inappropriately.
It should be noted that throughout the course of this tragic case, the nude crime scene photos have never been published or released to the media — nor have they ever been leaked. So, these photos were reportedly taken by police officers for administrative purposes, but it seems that the Mejia family is accusing officers of being sexually inappropriate with the deceased woman. Furthermore, there is also the issue with Mejia’s boyfriend, who was driving the car at the time of the tragic accident. He was reportedly drunk.
This isn’t the first time police officers have been accused of disturbing behavior. Just this year, a cop in San Jose was accused of raping a woman while wearing his kevlar vest in a specific fetish-style sex attack. It also isn’t the first time cops have come under scrutiny regarding investigative photos. Back in 2009, when Chris Brown violently assaulted R&B singer Rihanna, multiple photos were taken of her injuries. The New York Daily News reports that a handful of cops with the LAPD leaked those photos of Rihanna’s battered face — but they never faced criminal charges for it, even though it was incredibly tasteless and unethical of them.
If police officers with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office had inappropriate motives for taking nude photos of Jessica Mejia, it will hopefully be proven in court. At the least, this case opens up the dialogue regarding what is and is not appropriate when taking crime scene photos.
[Photo: Jessica Mejia and boyfriend / Cook County mugshot]