Our network

Memo questions leadership after controversial bra search | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Memo questions leadership after controversial bra search

LAKELAND, Florida -- Police dash cam video showing a controversial bra search during a traffic stop has raised a lot of eyebrows, including from one Lakeland city commissioner.

Howard Wiggs sent a memo to other city leaders that questioned the city's and police department's reactions so far to the search and other incidents. 

"If that were happening to you, or that were happening to my wife, I would be outraged," Wiggs told 10 News. "But I'm also at a point where I've seen one more mistake or two more mistakes."

Last month, surveillance cameras allegedly captured an off-duty Lakeland police officer in a physical fight with a man after a road rage incident. And in an unrelated incident, FDLE is investigating the behavior of other officers on the force.

"Please fully understand the damage that this is doing to the morale of our officers at every rank," Wiggs' memo reads. "This issue of leadership must be dealt with sooner rather than later, and I'd like a response as to your and the chief's plan as to what's next." 

He says he wants to see more urgency and more openness to the public in internal investigations.

"I believe it would be a big mistake to start resolving this in one- on-one meetings, or behind closed doors," he says.

His letter goes even further, saying he's lost confidence in Police Chief Lisa Womack's ability to "overcome whatever inadequacies have brought us to this point." 

In the days since the bra search was brought to light, the Lakeland Police Department has released statements.

On Thursday, Captain John Thomason told reporters that though Chief Womack was out of town, she takes the situation seriously. A written statement from Womack followed soon after, saying, in part, "This department does not condone the alleged actions as have been reported in recent days and any officer proven to be involved in this type behavior will be dealt with accordingly, including possible termination."

Our attempts to reach her and other city leaders on Saturday went unanswered.

"Folks expect good governance, and right now, they're not getting their money's worth," Wiggs says. He plans to challenge Mayor Gow Fields in the city's mayoral election later this year.


Polk County Deals

Polk County Businesses