Gary cop in rap video suspended without pay for 60 days
by Lori Caldwell firstname.lastname@example.org March 7, 2013 9:38PM
Gary Police officer Jason Johnson. | File Photo~Sun-Times Media ptmet
Updated: April 9, 2013 12:07PM
GARY — The Gary officer who abandoned his duties to visit the recording of a music video will serve a 60-day unpaid suspension.
Patrolman Jason Johnson is on paid medical leave but should be released next week to begin the suspension.
At a hearing last month, Johnson admitted violating four commission rules and several departmental rules, including neglect of duty, leaving an assignment without permission and unauthorized use of department equipment.
At its monthly meeting Thursday night, the Gary Police Civil Service Commission accepted the punishment recommended in a plea reached between Johnson and Chief Wade Ingram.
Johnson was on duty in early November when rap artist Freddie Gibbs recorded a video on a street in Tarrytown. Johnson appears in the video and Gibbs uses Johnson’s Gary squad as a prop.
Ingram initially sought termination for Johnson, hired in 2009.
In other business, the commission postponed action on a verified complaint filed by Patrolman Laria Crews against Cmdr. Peter Sormaz.
Crews said Sormaz issued a verbal order to add secure channels to a portable radio and when she told him department rules require a written request, Sormaz “began yelling” at her.
She was transferred from her communications assignment three days later.
Her complaint states, “To this date, it is not known where that radio is.”
Crews alleges Sormaz violated four rules.