BAYTOWN, Texas (FOX 26) - A now-former Baytown police officer has been indicted on a bribery charge. Michael Coppock, a 9-year veteran of the force, is accused of soliciting sexually suggestive photos from a woman during a traffic stop, in exchange for him changing a citation to a warning. In a press release, Baytown PD said the officer was indefinitely suspended on May 17.
Baytown Police Department released this press release about the investigation:
On March 28th our agency was notified of allegations that one of our officers had solicited sexually suggestive photos from a female, who he had issued a citation to, in exchange for changing the citation to a warning.
Based on this allegation our Internal Affairs Division was notified and an administrative investigation was initiated. Internal Affairs Investigators later identified the officer as Officer Michael Coppock, a 9 year veteran of the department. On April 11th Mr. Coppock was served with a Notice of Investigation, advising him of the complaint and ensuing administrative investigation.
During the course of that administrative investigation, it was determined the conduct of Mr. Coppock may be criminal in nature and therefore, on April 17th, our Criminal Investigations Division was notified and a criminal investigation was initiated, which ran concurrent with the administrative investigation.
As these two investigations unfolded, evidence was uncovered substantiating the allegations against Mr. Coppock. Therefore on May 1st, upon being informed of this evidence, Chief Dougherty took the swift and necessary step of requiring Mr. Coppock to surrender his badge and duty weapon as he was placed on non-enforcement status and reassigned to the station while the investigations continued.
On May 17th, after being presented with all the facts from the investigations, Chief Dougherty indefinitely suspended Mr. Coppock from the Baytown Police Department. This is the equivalent of a dismissal from the department.
On May 23rd Detectives with our Criminal Investigations Division presented their findings, which included evidence supporting the allegations against Mr. Coppock, to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Today those facts were presented to a Harris County Grand Jury and as a result Mr. Coppock has been indicted on the offense of BRIBERY.
The Baytown Police Department takes allegations of wrongdoing or misconduct by our officers very seriously.
The trust and confidence of our community is paramount and as such we hold our officers to the highest levels of integrity as well as moral, ethical and professional standards. Failure to adhere to those standards will not be tolerated and will be dealt with swiftly and in accordance with the law. We ask that the community continue to place its trust and confidence in our organization as the actions of Mr. Coppock are not reflective of the other men and women of the Baytown Police Department who don the badge and uniform every day and proudly serve with integrity and honor.