Reporting Laura Cole
PLACERVILLE (CBS13) – A cartoon is lampooning the law and making some serious allegations about the Placerville Police Department. The police chief certainly isn’t laughing.
The videos aren’t exactly going viral with about 1,000 hits on YouTube. But that’s little consolation for the chief caught in the cartoon’s crosshairs.
They may seem comical at first glance, but the cartoons paint a more than unflattering portrait of Placerville police.
“One of our officers murdered an unarmed woman in a stolen vehicle,” a cartoon character said in the video.
Characters portray the department’s top commanders and allude to a cover up, and serious misconduct.
“It’s false,” said Chief George Nielsen.
The Placerville police chief flatly denies all the anonymous allegations.
“They’re very upsetting. I think they are totally false,” said Nielsen. “It’s very troubling to me. This is harassment and bullying.”
The cartoons discuss real life events like a high-speed case with a baby on board.
“I heard there was a baby in the car. Yes there was, but I was very careful explaining the pursuit to the press so they would not think I knew the baby was in the car while I pursued it,” said the cartoon character.
Another event described was a 2010 fatal officer-involved shooting of an unarmed woman driving a stolen ambulance.
“How do we spin this?” asked one male character.
“Can’t you just say she tried to run him over, or had some type of weapon they cannot find now?” said a female character.
“Unfortunately there are other witnesses, and the officers on the scene with a different story,” replied the male character.
The district attorney’s office ruled that shooting justified, but the cartoon creator’s suggestions of police misconduct have some people concerned.
“It could be somebody who really has valid information, and they are trying to get the public aware of it so that it’s investigated,” said Barbara Abel.
Others say the videos are unfair to those who serve and protect.
“To me this video, I think, it is a little wrong,” said Chad Tompkins. “It does portray the Placerville Police Department in the wrong light.”
City Manager Cleve Morris says these cartoons are far from a funny joke.
“What concerns me about it is that it makes our police department look bad,” he said. “It’s unfair; it’s not true; it’s not at all true. We have an excellent police department.”
CBS13 did try to get in touch with the creator of the videos. We received a response in the form of a cartoon, stating that he or she wouldn’t be doing any interviews at this time.
Once CBS13 started asking questions, the videos were taken down.