SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – An officer is accused of going beyond the law, beating suspects who were in custody; and is now facing charges after fellow officers turned him in.

He’s a cop accused of assault while on duty.

“How serious are these allegations?” asked CBS13’s Steve Large.

“They’re very serious because they’re a breach of the public trust,” said acting Chief Scott LaCosse.

Twin Rivers District Police Officer Branche Smith allegedly choked two detainees in handcuffs and kicked another handcuffed detainee in the head.

The district attorney issued an arrest warrant for him on four misdemeanor counts of abuse under color of authority.

The incidents stretch back to 2010 and 2011, and were reported by fellow officers then but no action was taken.

“There are administrative investigations being conducted to who culpable fr having dropped the ball. Looked the oter way or whatever it was that might have happened,” said LaCosse.

LaCosse is in charge of turning around what’s become a problem in the plagued department.

Chief Christopher Breck was put on paid leave last year, following wide-ranging concerns over operations, including a so-called jumping by Twin Rivers cops into another jurisdiction.

Now one of their own officers is under arrest.

“This just put them two notches back, you know, and as far as the community, a lot of people are going to be talking about this in the barbershops. So this is a bad look for the Twin Rivers Police Department,” said Mack Block, community activist.

This cop’s questionable police work is leading to another round of Twin Rivers public relations problems.


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