For the first time, former Arizona State University police officers have publicly spoken out against their former department, accusing it and the University, of misreporting crime statistics in violation of the federal Clery Act. Watch Video at 12News.com >>
TEMPE, Ariz. – For the first time, former Arizona State University police officers have publicly spoken out against their former department, accusing it and the university, of misreporting crime statistics in violation of the Clery Act.
The Clery Act is a federal law that requires colleges and universities to report and publish crime statistics involving their students.
Former ASU police detective Matt Parker said he examined the statistics himself and compared them to the published Clery Act report.
Parker said crimes that are reported to ASU’s administration, but not investigated as crimes, are supposed to be included in the school’s Clery Act data. But he said those reports did not always make it to the police department.
Former Officer William O’Hayer said he was even encouraged to downplay some crimes.
“Maybe lower a felony to a misdemeanor, or something of that nature, yeah,” O’Hayer said. “It’s pretty blatant.”
“That’s the culture there,” former police aide Ben Flynn said. “Just sweep it under the rug — ignore it; it’ll go away.”
“It’s the norm, where they decide what they want to report, what they don’t want to report,” former Sgt. Patrick Murphy said.
Murphy said he was Parker, O’Hayer and Flynn’s supervisor at ASU PD.
All four officers have since left the ASU police force on their own.
They, along with four other officers, are suing the ASU Police Department.
ASU declined to answer questions on camera, but sent a statement that read: “We do not comment on pending litigation, regardless of how unsubstantiated, malicious or meritless it may be.”
The university has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
In 2014 the Department of Education confirmed it was investigating ASU and 55 other schools for possible violations.
Since then ASU has appointed its first full-time Title IX coordinator.