|Senior Police Officer Aaron Stringer|
The Bakersfield Police Department issued a statement on Monday, indicating that senor officer Aaron Stringer has been placed on paid administrative leave. Of course, the statement was vague in terms of the details, but we now know the rather sickening details.
Stringer, according to the statement, “manipulated,” or improperly touched the body of Ramiro Villegas inside a hospital room last November, one day after he had been shot by police.
The Bakersfield Californian newspaper reported on Friday that he pretended to tickle Villegas' feet and tried to pry-open his mouth.
The newspaper, citing reports it obtained from the department, said he told another officer at the hospital that he "loves playing with dead bodies," before laughing.
The Californian said Stringer was not permitted by the county coroner's office to touch the body. It quoted the department's reports as saying he declined to comment on the allegations and had hired an attorney.
According to police, officers shot Villegas dead the night of Nov. 13, following a brief high-speed pursuit, when he got out of his car and "aggressively" approached officers before he "reached towards his front waistband."
No weapon was found at the scene.
In February, the Kern County District Attorney's Office declined to bring criminal charges in the case, the statement said.