Newport News, Va., police officer Jason Diedrich is prohibited from making arrests or writing traffic tickets even though he was acquitted 14 years ago of grand larceny and perjury charges, reports the Newport News Daily Press. Prosecutor Howard Gwynn, told the city’s then-police chief Diedrich couldn’t be used as a courtroom witness because of the prior cases against him.
Diedrich, who maintains the juries were right in acquitting him, is fighting the restriction. Under state law, he says, it’s his duty as a police officer to protect the public. Diedrich, 43, a trained who works as a police recruiter, says he cannot as a sworn officer sit idly by as a crime occurs. This month, a judge said the city was in its rights to deny Diedrich’s right to grieve his case; Diedrich will appeal. Gwynn stands by his decision not to use Diedrich as a witness. “If you have reason to believe that a witness is not credible and you cannot vouch for a witness’ credibility, then you have an ethical responsibility not to use that witness,” Gwynn said.