Cruiser scratch at core of police controversy


A dispute over who made a minor scratch on a police cruiser is at the core of new misconduct allegations against the commander of the Northern District station, according to a former officer who was involved in the incident.

The Internal Affairs Unit of the Police Department is investigating allegations that Capt. Gary Barr had another officer alter a report on the accident to reflect badly on Donald Staten, who was then an officer, police sources said.

Mr. Staten, who was a patrol officer at Northern District station, said last week he was accused of scraping the passenger side of his cruiser against a gas pump behind Northern District station in April by Captain Barr, who was one of his superiors.

Mr. Staten, who recently resigned, said he told Captain Barr that he did not damage the car.

He said he was not the last person to drive the cruiser and that there was no damage to it when he finished his shift. Mr. Staten described the damage as a mark that could easily be repaired.

The accident report has since disappeared. And Captain Barr has denied the allegations.

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