Ranger told FDLE Special Agent Novia Maduro in October 2010 that he would often assist Rodgers searching cars during traffic stops.
“Officer Ranger would not locate illegal contraband, but Officer Rodgers would do a second search and locate narcotics,” the report says.
Ranger told investigators about overhearing rescue medics talk about how they once saw drugs stashed underneath Rodgers’ bulletproof vest tumble out after he was involved in a traffic crash.
The report says that after providing some information, Ranger balked at further cooperation.
Maduro noted that Ranger “has personal knowledge of multiple incidents in which [Rodgers] allegedly engaged in inappropriate behavior while on duty; however, it appeared that Officer Ranger failed to notify the appropriate authorities in fear of agency reprisal.”
After Rodgers killed himself, allegations of misconduct began to swirl involving Yopps, Ranger and other members of the Crime Suppression Unit. Chief Pachnek ordered the internal investigation.
In his Jan. 30 termination letter to Ranger, City Manger Faranda accused him of failing to notify supervisors when he witnessed Rodgers’ misconduct and “deception” in his interviews with investigators.
Faranda cited Yopps for multiple failings regarding two arrests by Rodgers in which Yopps signed arrest paperwork even though he knew “the crimes for which they were arrested had not occurred.”
“The fact that you signed the affidavits with the full knowledge that the arrests were unlawful is extremely disconcerting,” Faranda wrote.
Internal affairs investigators deemed as unfounded similar alleged violations leveled by Yopps against another Crime Suppression Unit member, Detective Alexis Iwaskewycz.
The official reports do not address the number of people who may have been wrongly arrested by Rodgers or other Crime Suppression Unit members. But the FOP report by Michael Gordon says that if police supervisors had followed established policies better, events including Rodgers’ suicide might have unfolded differently.
“How many people were arrested and charged with crimes they did not commit will never be known, but I am certain others might exist and not all can be blamed on just Officer Rodgers,” said Gordon.