YAKIMA, WA. -- It's a story you asked us to look into. Our investigative team researched an online blog that posted some shocking claims that Yakima Police Officers committed some severe acts of misconduct after one officer was shot in the knee.
It went viral on Facebook. An article from a conservative blogger in Idaho, quoting former police officer Adam Basford who said that he engaged in a life or death struggle with a convicted felon. And officers who saw the struggle did nothing to help.
Nearly a year after Adam Basford struggled for his life in a dark Yakima alley, an article posted on the conservative site The Free Thought Project quotes Basford thoroughly, saying: "They heard me get shot. They were just two blocks away but they were fifteen minutes from the end of their shift, and they went back to the station instead of coming to my aid."
We looked through video of the incident that shows officers rushing to the scene to help. In all official accounts of the incident, there was no mention of officers witnessing the struggle and not helping. Even in Basford's own testimony.
"That didn't happen," Yakima Police Chief Dominic Rizzi said. "That didn't happen. I trust the integrity of all of these officers that they're going to do the right thing and especially if another officer needs assistance, they're not going to turn their back on him."
We showed Chief Rizzi the video. In it, Basford is shown limping after a gunshot from a desert eagle handgun grazed his knee. When officers tell him they found a gun, Officer Basford approaches the apprehended suspect with his gun drawn.
"To have an officer draw a weapon and advance toward that individual, that's not acceptable," Chief Rizzi said. "We cannot have that in the department. We can't have that anywhere in law enforcement."
That led to an investigation. Before it concluded, the two sides reached an amicable separation agreement. But the story isn't finished there.
Basford is now charged with filing a false police report as citizen stemming from what happened in a parking lot months later. Basford filed a report claiming Officer Ryan Yates on the left side of your screen made a threatening gesture to Basford by smirking at him and grabbing his gun.
The video here is inconclusive as to whether that altercation occurred or not. But the police believe they have enough to charge Basford with filing a false report.
"There was absolutely nothing there that would indicate that Officer Yates did anything inappropriate," Chief Rizzi said. "And on the contrary, it showed that Mr. Basford embellished, and outright lied about what transpired at that place."
Basford declined an interview, but in emails, Basford told us: "I won't endorse, or speak out against articles or comments made about or against me. This situation is what it is and it's not me feeding it."
in the blog, basford also claims that he wrote up several misconduct reports about the yakima police department.
chief rizzi said he had never seen any such reports and takes any internal complaint, very, very seriously.