SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — In a time when criticism of law enforcement has been heightened, a legal expert said the recent arrest of a Sacramento police officer is a reason for concern.
“It’s not a gray area, it’s purely black and white,” said Ed Obayashi, a Plumas County deputy sheriff and law enforcement ethics expert. “It’s just unacceptable.”
Obayashi said the arrest of Sacramento police Officer Alexa Palubicki is a reason to be concerned.
“These allegations, if accurate and true, would constitute the worst type of police misconduct imaginable,” he told FOX40.
According to court documents, the 26-year-old three-year veteran of the police department was accused of falsifying police reports during a traffic stop on July 11 of last year.
The documents say Palubicki and her partner spotted 27-year-old Andre Davis parked across two parking spots at a Shell gas station near Discovery Park.
The officers approached him to tell him he parked illegally.
During that encounter, Davis refused to let the officers search his vehicle, but they did anyway and claimed they found marijuana and a loaded handgun.
Davis was charged with a felony on suspicion of carrying a concealed firearm. But the charges were dismissed after there were concerns about finding probable cause to approach Davis’ car in the first place.
“The district attorney, we believe, will do exactly what they are supposed to do and if anybody suffered repercussions from what she did, they should be held accountable,” said Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn.
The law firm representing Palubicki said Friday that she was still employed at the Sacramento Police Department but has been placed on leave.
They would not do an on-camera interview but gave FOX40 a statement.
On behalf of Officer Palubicki, we ask that judgement be reserved until she has her day in court. Like anyone charged with a crime, Officer Palubicki is entitled to due process. We trust that process and look forward to vigorously defending her against these allegations.Joshua A. Olander, Mastagni Holstedt Senior Associate
Obayashi said he believes misconduct like this should be more of a concern to the public than a use-of-force incident.
“This one is much more nefarious — it’s hidden. That is, for lack of a better term, that’s the scary part about this,” Obayashi said.