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Officers responding to a call that a child was being victimized by a sexual predator told the girl's dad she could be arrested for sending child porn.
The Columbus (Ohio) Division of Police responded to a viral Facebook video from a father who called police claiming a sexual predator was targeting his daughter.
In the video, the father told officers that his 11-year-old daughter was sending photos to a sexual predator. The officers suggested that his daughter could be the one arrested for sending child porn.
"She can probably be charged for child porn," the officers told the man.
"She's 11 years old," the man responded.
"It doesn't matter. She's creating it," the officer responded.
"She is being manipulated by a grown-ass adult on the internet," the man said.
The man ended the conversation with police.
Both the city's chief of police and mayor reacted to the video.
"My expectation is that our officers treat every victim of crime with compassion, decency, and dignity. What I saw in that video did not reflect that — which is why we referred this case to the Inspector General," Chief Elaine Bryant said. "I want to make clear — this incident does not reflect the Division as a whole. Our officers do outstanding work to bring comfort and justice to victims every day.
"As soon as we learned of this incident, we immediately reached out to the father to apologize, and to assure him that this matter was being fully investigated — both the actions of this officer, and more importantly, any crime committed against his child."
Mayor Andrew Ginther said the city was aware of the video, adding that "CPD takes all allegations of sexual misconduct very seriously."
In addition to the inspector general's review of the officers' response, Ginther said the police's Sexual Assault Unit has opened an investigation into the father's allegations.
According to reports gathered by the Associated Press, the father called police twice on Sept. 14, with the first call coming at about 6:50 p.m. Officers did not respond to the residence until after midnight on Sept. 15.
The report placed blame on the father before he ended the conversation, the AP reported.
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