Chico Police Officer Todd Boothe is being investigated by the Internal Affairs Division of the Chico Police Department.
The investigation comes after Chico City Councilman Randall Stone publicly and privately called for the investigation, after finding what he calls "racist" photos of President Obama on Boothe's personal Facebook page. Chico Police Chief Kirk Trostle is angry that Stone went public with the allegations, bringing them to the attention of the media. He says Stone, who sits on the Police Community Advisory Board, sent him an email asking for an investigation over the weekend. Trostle says he was planning on conducting the investigation internally, but was shocked to see details into the allegations play out in such a public manner. Says Trostle, "When I'm lead to believe I have the ability to investigate this, and then I see it on the evening news, yes, that offends me."
Also coming to Boothe's defense is the Chico Police Officers Association. President Peter Durfee says, "The councilman could have handled this completely different, he could have contacted the city manager, or our chief, and we could have handled it that way. Councilman Stone made a statement that Officer Boothe's actions endangered the lives of other officers. I completely 100% disagree. Stone has endangered the lives of Todd and his family, instead of going through the proper chain of command."
Councilman Sean Morgan has issued a statement in response to Stone's actions, as well. He says, "It's unfortunate an elected official would make the identity of a police officer known, thus endangering the officer and his family's safety. I'm sure there is a process for this, some would call it due process, and I believe it should start with the department's internal affairs officer, and include the chief, and city manager, if necessary."
Part of the Department's investigation into the matter will include whether or not Stone violated the Police Community Advisory Board's confidentiality policy, which states that no member of the board may divulge any information regarding a personnel matter deemed confidential by the police chief.