Newly released disciplinary records show there was a roughly 53-minute window during which a former Chattanooga police officer — now convicted of civil rights charges stemming from multiple rapes — and his last victim were unaccounted for.
The internal documents have been withheld from public release due to the federal criminal investigation. But now that former officer Desmond Logan has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for multiple rapes while on duty, the file is open for public review.
The Chattanooga Police Department opened an internal affairs investigation at the same time the criminal investigation began in June 2018 after a woman accused Logan of raping her during an arrest.
Generally, when an officer is under criminal investigation, internal investigators cannot interview the accused officer, police Chief David Roddy previously told Chattanooga City Council members in January 2019.
That's because of a 1967 U.S. Supreme Court case — Garrity v. New Jersey — in which it was decided that the threat of loss of employment constitutes coercion that would violate a defendant's constitutional right against self-incrimination.
In internal investigations, police officers are required to answer questions or risk being terminated. They cannot reserve the right to remain silent, Roddy told council members last year.
"The stipulation is that those comments that they make — the statements they provide — cannot be used in the criminal proceeding," Roddy said. "We have to keep the two separate, because if there are statements made in a Garrity interview that are in any way connected to a criminal [investigation], they can't be used.
"So we have to walk that line very tightly or we could jeopardize criminal investigations."
In Logan's case, he was not interviewed at all by internal affairs investigators. Instead, they used 911 dispatch records, the victim's arrest report, Logan's body camera and dashcam footage, as well as jail security footage, to determine that Logan lied.
Lying is a fireable offense.
According to the internal records, Logan arrested the woman — identified in the federal case as K.V.B. — on June 12, 2018.
Body camera footage shows Logan questioning the woman inside a gas station in the 2100 block of Dodds Avenue just after midnight.
She originally started speaking to Logan because she wanted to report her vehicle as stolen, but when she gave Logan her identification, he found that she had active warrants for her arrest.
He tells her that in the video, and then accuses her of lying when she said she didn't think she had any warrants in Hamilton County.
"Next time you're out, please, I suggest telling the truth from the very beginning," he tells her. "Makes it hard to trust you or believe you when you start out with a lie."
She asks him if she could have a cigarette before he arrests her.
"Ma'am, I give people cigarette that like seriously tell the truth to me. You say and told lies to me this whole time," Logan responds.
But he lets her buy a pack of cigarettes anyway.
"She's wasting her money. I'm not gonna let her smoke," he mumbles to other officers who were still at the scene. "Anybody who goes to jail, you know you can't take 'em in. Or, you know, they gotta throw 'em away."
"Whatever, waste your money. Go right ahead. Less money I gotta count at the jail," he continues to himself.
Eventually, Logan leads the woman to his patrol car. She again pleads with him to let her have a cigarette because she said she was having a panic attack. Her friends had just driven off with her car, she tells him, and asks if he'd been looking for her.
"No," he said.
"Sometimes good things just happen to me. I usually have a good eye for things that just doesn't seem right," he says before tantalizing her with the prospect of a cigarette.
"When we get into the jail, like before we walk in, I may let you — if I feel like it, I may give you a little bit of your Newport there," he said.
"I feel like I'm going to pass out," she responds. "I wasn't out trying to get in trouble I went grocery shopping. They [my friends] got in the car and left me. I can't even report my car as stolen."
The woman made that remark after Logan had told her that, because her friends were in the driver's seat, she "obviously gave them permission to drive it."
Taking a vehicle without the owner's consent is a crime in the state of Tennessee.
About 1:53 a.m., Logan began driving toward the jail after turning off his body camera. His dashcam wasn't turned on until he'd been driving for at least 11 blocks.
Internal investigators also discovered that Logan signed into the department's dashcam system under a different user. An earlier victim previously told the Times Free Press that Logan identified himself to her as "Officer Tate."
"During the last few minutes of transport, there is very minimal speaking on the part of both Officer Logan and [the woman]," investigators wrote. "She also seems to be becoming increasingly lethargic, spending a majority of her time sitting with her eyes closed and swaying her head back and forth."
By 2:03 a.m., Logan tells dispatchers that he is at the jail. But he isn't seen entering the jail until 2:56 a.m.
Instead, jail cameras captured his vehicle driving past the jail. He drives toward the area of Lindsey and East 4th streets where he stays stationary for nearly 50 minutes, according to his vehicle's GPS data.
Investigators did not investigate what happened during that time, as that was part of the criminal investigation, and Logan's body and dashboard cameras were turned off.
According to the woman's lawsuit, however, Logan threatened her with federal charges and told her she would "have the chance to talk her way out of it" before he raped her in a parking lot.
Ultimately, there was enough evidence showing Logan lied. However, he resigned just minutes ahead of his disciplinary hearing, during which he was scheduled to be fired.
He has since admitted to raping three women in his custody and using a Taser on a fourth woman. A fifth woman came forward after Logan had already pleaded guilty to two counts of deprivation of civil rights.
He has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison, the maximum under a plea agreement meant to hold him publicly accountable for the assaults and to spare the victims from having to endure a trial.
At his sentencing hearing, Logan told the judge, "I'd like to apologize for all the trouble it's caused I am not a bad person. I made mistakes. I never hurt anyone."
He is now seeking to appeal his sentence to the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Contact Rosana Hughes at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @HughesRosana.