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San Diego Police Officer Resigns After Incident with Arrestee in Patrol Car

In a bizarre and troubling case, former San Diego Police Officer Anthony Hair has resigned following an incident where he was found locked in the backseat of his patrol car with a female arrestee. This event, which took place in August 2023, has raised significant concerns about police conduct and accountability within the San Diego Police Department (SDPD).

The Incident

The unusual series of events began when Officer Hair responded to an auto theft call outside a Bay Park 7-Eleven store. During the call, several arrests were made, and Hair was responsible for transporting a female arrestee. According to the investigation, Hair drove the woman to multiple locations, including a police substation in University City, the downtown police headquarters, and finally, the Las Colinas Detention Facility in Santee.

On the way to Las Colinas, Hair reported that he believed the woman was experiencing a medical emergency. Videos released by SDPD show Hair re-enacting the incident for investigators. He explained that while checking on the woman, he inadvertently shut the back door of the patrol car with his foot, locking himself inside with the arrestee.

“When I was waking her up, that’s when I noticed that this door closed on me. That’s when I was trying to kind of open the door,” Hair stated in the video.

San Diego Police Officer Anthony Hair

Breach of Protocol

The investigation revealed that Hair failed to follow several critical procedures. Notably, he did not call for medical assistance and had removed his body-worn camera before entering the back seat with the woman. This removal of the camera and subsequent actions led to serious questions about his conduct and intentions.

The woman involved later told investigators that Hair had asked her personal questions, including for her phone number, and expressed a desire to meet her after her release from jail. She clarified that while there was no sexual contact, the nature of his inquiries was inappropriate and unprofessional.

Investigation and Resignation

Internal affairs investigators found that Officer Hair not only breached protocol but also falsified police reports regarding the incident. Despite the severity of these findings, Hair resigned from the force approximately one month after the incident, and just one day before he was scheduled for a second interview with department investigators.

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office has not confirmed whether they are pursuing criminal charges against Hair. An SDPD spokesperson emphasized that the department takes all allegations and acts of misconduct seriously, stating, “We are committed to maintaining the highest standards of integrity and accountability.”

Community Response

Tasha Williamson, a local community advocate, has been vocal in demanding greater accountability from SDPD. Williamson, who submitted a complaint to the department upon hearing about the incident, questioned the lack of criminal charges and the ease with which Hair was able to resign.

“So why is it that this officer is just simply able to resign amid being fired, possibly, but not have any criminal charges?” Williamson asked.

Transparency and Accountability

Since 2022, a law has required San Diego Police and other law enforcement agencies to publicly share records of peace officer misconduct found through internal investigations. This case highlights the importance of such transparency, as public scrutiny is crucial for maintaining trust in law enforcement.

The SDPD has released dozens of videos and audio files from the night of the incident, providing a detailed account of Hair’s actions. These records are part of an ongoing effort to ensure that officers are held accountable for their actions.

The Aftermath…

The resignation of Officer Anthony Hair under these circumstances underscores the challenges and complexities of police accountability. As the investigation continues, the San Diego community and law enforcement officials will be closely watching how the case is handled and what measures will be taken to prevent similar incidents in the future.



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Patrick Zarrelli

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