If you’ve got a pulse, you’ll be angered by this one. Milwaukee County Sheriffs Deputy Joseph Quiles alleges in his official report that he was driving his squad car when he came upon a stop sign. He claims that he stopped his vehicle and then looked both ways before pulling out. He then claims that he never saw any headlights when he suddenly struck a car driven by Tanya Weyker. What happened next is nothing short of unbelievable.
Cops arrested her for five separate charges, including drunk driving resulting in injury. The injury was actually to Ms. Weyker, who suffered a fractured neck as a result of the February 2013 crash. The injuries she sustained were too severe to allow her to perform field sobriety tests and/or even provide a breath sample.
Without any independent witness and/or video evidence, Ms. Weyker would be in a horrible predicament. Her serious criminal case would be based almost exclusively on the words of law enforcement officers. Fortunately, more evidence surfaced recently.
An investigation into both the crash and subsequent arrest yielded a video from a nearby surveillance camera. What can clearly be seen is that Deputy Quiles’ squad car never made a complete stop. Weyker wasn’t responsible for the crash, the deputy was! Additionally, the blood samples of Ms. Weyker taken by doctors at the hospital showed that she had no alcohol in her system on the night in question. Furthermore, the fact that the headlights to Weyker’s Toyota Camry come on automatically should have been a red flag to investigators that the deputies’ claim that she didn’t have her lights on was meritless.
In spite of the overwhelming evidence of her innocence, it took months before prosecutors decided to drop charges against her. Additionally, she is still waiting for the state to pay her medical bills for the injuries she sustained in the crash.
I’ve been in the criminal arena as a prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney for over two decades and I’m still angered and frustrated by stories like this. I’m hoping that prosecutors charge this deputy with criminal offenses. Additionally, I’m hoping that they demand that he go to jail for his actions. The message to law enforcement must be that if you manufacture evidence and/or falsely arrest someone, you must pay with your liberty. I wouldn’t be opposed to a minimum mandatory prison term for cops like Quiles who attempt to frame innocent citizens.