A former Des Moines thug police officer with a disturbing past is likely to get his job back by the end of this month.
His name is Cody Grimes. Ring a bell? If so, that’s because he’s been in the news before.
For really, really disturbing reasons.
Let’s start with this first (reported) act of violence committed by Grimes:
Officer Grimes was in the news in October 2010 when he fired his service revolver at a KCCI news photographer outside the KCCI studios in downtown Des Moines.
Officer Grimes was responding to a report of shots fired at the station. A KCCI photographer had gone outside to try to identify the suspect. Officer Grimes saw the photographer in the dark and thought he was the suspect. The photographer had a cellphone in his hand. Grimes thought it was a weapon and fired one shot at the photographer. Luckily, he missed. The bullet struck the base of a light pole. A suspect was later arrested. (source)
Shoot first, ask questions later. Strike one for Grimes.
Here’s the second act of violence committed by Grimes. This one happened at a wedding:
In 2011, Jake Twombly says he shoved one of his groomsmen into an off duty officer at his reception. The officer called for backup and Twombly was arrested. But he says after he was handcuffed and face down on the floor, Officer Cody Grimes beat him unconscious, breaking two bones in Twombly’s face. (source)
Witnesses said Twombly was calm and in handcuffs when Grimes beat him. Twombly was found not guilty of any charges, and the city settled a civil lawsuit by paying him 75-thousand dollars. An internal investigation by the police department cleared Grimes of any wrongdoing in that case, but police will not release the details of that investigation to us. (source)
Receive a call to break up a violent situation and respond with more violence. Strike two for Grimes.
The third act of violence committed by Grimes occurred two days after Christmas in 2013:
Cody Grimes, 33, was charged with one count of domestic assault causing injury and one count of fourth-degree criminal mischief after the officer threw his ex-girlfriend down the stairs of his home on December 27, according to a police report. The incident happened after the woman let herself in to Grimes’ house to collect Christmas decorations and an argument ensued. (source)
Grimes is also accused of physically throwing her inside of the house and against a door. She suffered a bruise with swelling on her right hand from hitting her hand on an island, a scratch on her right elbow and a red mark on her outer thigh. (source)
Grimes also threw a Christmas tree and ornaments at the woman’s car and scratched it.
Physically abuse a woman you dated and once lived with. Strike three for Grimes.
Indeed, that incident is the one that resulted in Grimes (finally) being fired.
Oh, about those charges that were filed against Grimes…here’s what happened in May 2014:
Grimes’ trial was scheduled to begin today, but he has pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal mischief, according to online court records. The domestic assault charge has been dismissed.
Grimes will be fined as part of his guilty plea, according to court records.
Alexandria, the woman Grimes is accused of beating, told Whotv.com that the officer choked, pushed, and threw her around. Grimes wasn’t arrested until three days later, even though there was evidence to show Alexandria had injuries.
And, this will probably surprise…no one:
Alexandria says Des Moines police and the County Attorney’s office pressured her against pursuing domestic abuse charges.
“There was a couple people who kept calling me and harassing me, saying we need your story again. Every single day they would call me and the Polk County Attorney said, ‘you know, we can go to trial but he pretty much persuaded me that if we go to trial and one person (on the jury) doesn’t agree to it then everything’s dropped,'” she said. “I felt that no one was on my side. That no one was on my back. And I knew I had enough evidence but they were pushing me to not go forth with it.” (source)
Of course, the County Attorney said he had the interests of the victim in mind:
Polk County Attorney John Sarcone insists his decision not to take the case to trial had nothing to do with Grimes’ employment as a police officer, but rather a concern for the victim being re-victimized by a trial. “None of us wanted to see this young girl raked over the coals because of prior incidents,” Sarcone said.
Sarcone noted there was no criminal wrongdoing on her part. There was probable cause against Grimes, he said.
Or…maybe, just maybe, the real reason Sarcone didn’t want Alexandria to pursue domestic abuse charges is because of the other consequences that would have followed, as Rekha Basu of The Des Moines Register explains:
In some cases, settling a case without going to trial can be in a crime victim’s best interests, says the director of the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence. But Laurie Schipper discourages plea bargaining a case of domestic assault to something else.
A domestic assault conviction would have set in motion other consequences. If Grimes’ guilty plea had included even a simple misdemeanor charge of domestic assault, jail would have been mandatory, Schipper said. Grimes would also have been required to attend batterers’ education and would have been issued a no-contact order, which carries a mandatory sentence if the person violates its.
Someone convicted of domestic abuse is not allowed to have a gun. If Grimes could not carry a gun, his law-enforcement career might have been over. As it stands, there’s nothing to necessarily prevent it from continuing. “That’s the chief’s problem,” to decide what happens now, Sarcone said.
That article, written in May 2014, also pointed out that “the Des Moines Civil Service Commission has a track record of reinstating officers who were fired for misconduct.”
And now it looks like that is going to happen with Grimes.
As reported by The Des Moines Register today:
A Des Moines police officer who was fired last summer is expected to be reinstated by the end of the month, according to Des Moines Human Resources Director James Wells.
Members of the city’s Civil Service Commission voiced support Tuesday to reinstate Senior Police Officer Cody Grimes.
Grimes will return to his position as a senior police officer, with a salary of $73,195, pending a formal vote by the commission in two weeks, Wells said.
Commission members determined termination was an excessive action, but they said that as a disciplinary measure Grimes should not receive back pay since his firing in June.
While the “internal” investigation was conducted, Grimes was on paidvacation leave.
His fine for beating Alexandria? $1000.00.
Mark Hedberg, Grimes’ attorney, thinks his client is a “standup guy”:
“I’m a resident of Des Moines and I have no problem with him being on the police force,” said Hedberg, the retained attorney for the Des Moines Police Bargaining Unit. “People make mistakes.”
“Yeah, I think he’s real dangerous,” Twombly says of Grimes.
Twombly’s attorney Brandon Brown expressed concerns about the officer returning to the streets:
“I’m concerned that the city is reinstating an officer who has clear propensities for unreasonable violence. It’s been demonstrated in court through third-party witness accounts,” Brown said.
Whotv.com reported that the department doesn’t want Grimes back. It’s the city’s civil service commission that is expected to order him to be reinstated:
Still, police stand by the decision to fire Grimes. “Correct.” Sgt. Jason Halifax with the Des Moines Police Department said, “We didn’t reverse our position.”
And Alexandria? Her perspective is chilling:
“I moved thousands of miles away just so I can remain safe.” she explains, “I’m afraid that he’s going to retaliate and he’s gonna kill me.”
“He’s dangerous. He’s a liability. And he’s gonna end up really hurting somebody.”
When asked if she believes Grimes is going to kill someone, Alexandria replied, “I do. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon enough.”
I really hope that we never hear Grimes’ name in the news again, unless it is for saving kittens or helping children cross the street.
But I’m really not optimistic.Facebook and Twitter, and follow our friends at RepublicanLegion.com.