COLFAX — Several police officers took the witness stand and discussed proper police protocol Thursday during the third day of a trial for a former Pullman Police Department sergeant accused of custodial sexual misconduct.
During the trial of Dan Hargraves at Whitman County Superior Court in Colfax, the officers outlined proper use of police body cameras and spoke to other law enforcement policies.
Hargraves is accused of coercing a former Washington State University freshman woman into performing oral sex on him while she was in his custody in the early hours of March 31, 2018.
There is no footage of Hargraves’ interaction with the woman that night and he had little communication with the dispatch center, Whitcom, during the time he allegedly contacted the then-18-year-old woman.
According to Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins’ testimony, police are required to turn on their body camera when transporting a person if that person is detained. He said it is expected but not required to be turned on if police are performing a welfare check on someone.
The police department at the time of the alleged incident did not have a mandatory policy to have an in-car camera, he said.
Police are also required to contact Whitcom and report their vehicle’s mileage when they transport a female or juvenile to ensure transparency. Failure to report this for a courtesy ride is not a violation, Jenkins said.
According to a Washington State Patrol investigation, Hargraves is alleged to have placed the woman in his vehicle and told her he would be driving her to the police station after he caught her twice being drunk in public.
After the woman allegedly pleaded with Hargraves and said she would do anything not to be arrested, he is accused of driving her to Reaney Park where the alleged sex act occured.
Tracy also presented audio of communication between the officers working on College Hill on March 30, 2018, and March 31, 2018, and it showed very little communication from Hargraves that night. Officer Ruben Harris during his testimony said it is not unusual for an officer to be off the radio for that long.
WSU Police Department Sgt. Matt Kuhrt also testified and his body camera footage of his interaction that night with the woman was shown in court. He said he spoke to her after seeing her staggering on the stairs leading to the entrance of her dormitory, Duncan Dunn Hall.
In the footage, the woman is seen outside Duncan Dunn Hall. The woman said she was worried about her parents’ reaction if she was arrested and said she would do anything to avoid punishment.
After the officer said he would forward charges to the prosecutor’s office, the woman in the video walked up the stairs to the entrance of Duncan Dunn.
In another video with footage from his body camera, Kuhrt walked up to a vehicle driven by Hargraves. Kuhrt testified that Hargraves asked him about his contact with the woman.
Hargraves is alleged to have contacted her twice that night, once before Kuhrt’s interaction with her, and once after.
Kuipers can be reached at (208) 883-4640, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.