Police officers cleared of any crime in flushing fetus down toilet

By Calvin Palmer

Five Arizona police officers have been cleared of any wrongdoing after flushing a stillborn fetus down a toilet in a motel room.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office yesterday determined a crime was not committed but the five Mesa police officers still face an internal investigation to see whether any policies were violated by Officers Robert Buquo, Nicholas Webster and Kristen Johnson; acting Sgt Glen Pearson and Lt Lynn Young.

Sgt Brian Soller, president of the state and Mesa chapters of the Fraternal Order of Police said he believes the officers will be exonerated.

Police and Mesa fire EMS personnel responded to a call from a Motel 6 on June 1 and found that Raeann Bell, 24, had miscarried a 4-inch fetus that was 12 to 14 weeks old.

Buquo photographed the fetus, which fire officials declined to take, then flushed it down the toilet.

Mesa fire officials conducted an earlier investigation and previously announced no discipline would be taken against paramedics Arnold Cornejo and Gil Velasquez, and EMTs Scott Crawford and Kevin Strogen.

The officials said they will better train EMS and fire personnel how to respond better to similar calls.

[Based on reports by The Arizona Republic , East Valley Tribune and Associated Press.]

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