A local resident captured a photo of a Newport Police Officer urinating outside his residence in Newport on Wednesday.
What’sUpNewp was provided with four photos of the incident on Friday morning, the source asked for anonymity in fear that Newport Police Department “would try and screw” him over for reporting or photographing the incident. What’sUpNewp has blurred out a portion of the photo.
The person who captured the photos says that at 11:30 am on Wednesday, April 5th a Newport Police Officer approached his residence on Van Zandt Avenue in Newport and proceeded to urinate just outside his window, which is on the side of the road and his yard.
“It’s crazy that they arrest people for this stuff but they’re doing it too.”, the source said. The source believes the officer may have been working a detail in the area.
“This matter will be reviewed to gather all the information and the proper context,” Gary Silva, Chief of Newport Police Department, told What’sUpNewp when we provided him with the graphics on Friday morning.
Update: Newport Police Department issued the following press release at 3:10 pm on Friday
On Friday April 7th 2017 the Newport, RI Police Department Chief of Police received an email that was sent to him at approximately 7 am from the social media web site “What’sUpNewp”. The email included a photograph of what appeared to be a uniformed Newport Police Officer. The writing of the email stated a Newport resident took the photograph earlier this week from inside their residence. The photograph was during the daytime hours and had a portion of the Officer’s midsection/groin area blurred out. The writing stated that the Officer was urinating on the property of the resident. The Chief requested from “What’sUpNewp” an unaltered photo and any other photographs, which were then sent to the Chief. The Chief has initiated an internal investigation of this matter.
The Officer is a member of the Newport Police Department Retired Officer Corps. These members assist the agency in performing special details, such as road construction details, which he was performing at the time the photograph was taken. This Officer has been suspended from performing any special details until further notice pending the investigation.
Urinating in public is considered a public nuisance and disorderly conduct, according to the City Of Newport’s Code Of Ordinances. The City of Newport does enforce public urination quite seriously, on March 11th (Newport St. Patrick’s Day Parade) Newport Police Department cited 6 individuals for public urination.
The violation for public nuisance (ordinance 9.17.010) is a “fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), at the discretion of the municipal court, plus court costs, and/or community service, or any combination thereof”. While the violation for disorderly conduct ( ordinance 9.04.050) is “shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) and/or imprisonment for not more than thirty (30) days”.
At least 13 states require registration as a sex offender if found guilty of public urination; of those, two limit registration to those who committed the act in view of a minor; Rhode Island is not one of those states.
It is unknown what specific internal rules or regulations the Newport Police Department has in regards to public urination.
This matter is under investigation, this story will be updated when more information is made available from Newport Police Department.