An eight-year veteran of the Ann Arbor, Michigan Police Department is currently being investigated for allegedly offering leniency on traffic violations if female motorists agreed to have sex with him.
According to The Ann Arbor News, 39-year-old Officer Jason J. Kitts resigned over the summer due to the allegations that started surfacing in May and June of 2014. Three complaints were filed with the AAPD, and who knows how many more have gone unreported.
AAPD Chief John Seto wrote in an email that Kitts resigned from his position on July 16, 2014 due to the allegations. He is currently being investigated by the AAPD, as well as the Michigan State Police. Rather than discuss or acknowledge the investigations against Kitts, however, Seto instead issued a general statement to the public:
The Ann Arbor Police Department has a high standard for its officers. The actions of Kitts are unacceptable, (which) is why he is no longer a member of the AAPD.
That sure doesn’t talk like “innocent until proven guilty” talk. Either the justice system is acting like it’s same old self, or there is some pretty incriminating evidence against Kitts that is not being discussed publicly.
In order to gain more information for the public regarding the situation, The Ann Arbor News utilized the Freedom of Information Act to obtain complaint records on Kitts over the past two years. No complaints were on file for Kitts in 2013, but they did start showing up in June of 2014. Apparently, Kitts was not at his dubious deeds long before enough complaints came in for him to feel the pressure and resign.
The first complaint on file is dated June 12, 2014.
In that complaint, one female citizen stated in an email that a traffic stop June 2 on Plymouth Road was not according to Hoyle. According to the filed complaint, Kitts made “[i]nappropriate remarks… interpreted to be sexual in nature.” The complaint did not elaborate in detail as to what those remarks were, and likely you’re already zeroing in on the word “interpreted.” Rest assured, however, the second and third complaints go into enough detail to wash away any question as to whether the first complaint had “interpreted” the officer’s intentions correctly.
The second complaint against Officer Kitts was filed June 23, 2014, after a woman called the AAPD regarding an incident that took place June 4 within the 15th District Court, if you can believe the audacity of that.
The woman filing complaint number two stated that she’d received a speeding ticket on South State Street May 19, but that Officer Kitts had encouraged her to fight the ticket. Nothing inappropriate took place during that traffic stop. Instead, Officer Kitts took the woman aside at the court house when the woman did, in fact, show up to fight the ticket.
The complaint report states:
She wanted to specifically complain about his behavior during a conversation they had outside the courtroom in the hallways.
The report goes on to detail:
[Kitts] then asked her to step into a private room outside the courtroom. [The woman] said she found that unusual and felt like [Kitts] didn’t want anyone else to hear the conversation.
The woman states that Kitts allegedly said he could get her out of the ticket charged, but inquired “what was in it for him.”
The report states, according to the woman, that Kitts said:
I want to see how well you can convince me that I should do this.
Confused by the officer’s failure to persuade her, the woman thought he was looking for a monetary bribe.
The AAPD asked the woman why she waited so long to report the incident and she replied that her mother had convinced her upon hearing the account from her daughter, stating that she felt the officer’s behavior was “unethical.”
And there’s more.
Officer Kitts pulled over yet another woman June 16, 2014. That woman claims the officer hinted that he might dismiss the ticket if she would have sex with him.
According to the third complaint, the woman was younger, a student on her way to class pulled over for speeding. She was encouraged to report the incident after describing it to an instructor, stating that she was “too traumatized to come into the station” to do so. Instead, that instructor was concerned enough to call police on the girl’s behalf, stating that the girl claimed to have been pulled over around 1:15 pm that day on Plymouth Road.
According to the details of that report, the girl told the officer she wondered if her speedometer might be faulty and that she should likely get it fixed. Officer Kitts allegedly responded:
Well, what does that do for me?
He then went on to instill worry in the girl by telling her that her license could likely be taken away for the infraction, due to prior points on her driving record. In light of that information, the girl asked what she could do.
Officer Kitts allegedly responded, according to the report:
What can a girl do for a guy?
Misunderstanding Kitts as much as the woman in the private courtroom did, the girl entirely missed the officer’s sexual innuendo, stating that she could “bake or do translation paperwork.”
Not to be deterred, however, Kitts continued:
Think harder about what a girl could do for a guy.
The report states from there:
She said, ‘Sex,’ but that’s illegal. [Kitts] told her not to worry about what was illegal.
He went on to ask her if she had a boyfriend and the woman admitted that she did not, to which Officer Kitts allegedly replied:
What a good time [it] would be to come over and see what they could do to take care of her ticket.
The report doesn’t go into detail as to how the woman left the situation, though it does indicate that Officer Kitts was able to obtain her address from the woman. Had she refused, he could have just as easily taken it from her driver’s license, anyway. What is one to do in that position under the gun of authority?
The report also indicates that the woman believed Kitts would “return with paperwork to dismiss the ticket but after speaking with her teacher she realized that wasn’t how a ticket would be taken care of in the law enforcement system.”
Just last week it was confirmed by Michigan State Police First Lt. Sean Furlong that Officer Kitts is the subject of an investigation.
Criminal charges are currently pending with the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office waiting for authorization. The prosecutor’s office, however, is not commenting on the case.
AAPD Chief Seto would also not confirm if the three complaints against Kitts are at the center of the investigation under way by the MSP. He did state, however, that Kitts is the focus of a criminal investigation, so there’s that.
I requested the Michigan State Police conduct an investigation as soon as the AAPD Professional Standards investigation revealed some alleged actions could be criminal in nature.
It seems some officers confuse “keeping the peace” with “extorting a piece.”