Cop Accused of Running Criminal Background Check on Obama

Cop Accused of Running Criminal Background Check on Obama

Published August 10, 2009

Philadelphia's Police Department is investigating why an officer used his police car's computer to run a criminal background check on President Barack Obama.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said Friday the officer could face discipline for performing the check Wednesday morning. The Secret Service alerted the department after it learned about the incident from National Crime Information Center.

Ramsey says he wants to know what the officer has to say for himself. The police department has not officially released the officer's name, but sources have identified him as Gerald Corrento of the 18th District, reports WPVI-TV in Philadelphia.

"It's an inappropriate use of the MDT [Mobile Data Terminal]. We're certainly loooking into it and why that happened," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey told the TV station. He said he can't think of a reason someone would use that system to look up the president.

Officials say the officer, who remains on duty, allegedly entered the president's name into the National Crime Information Computer System, punched in the president's date of birth, and attempted to run a criminal background check.

That automatically sent a red flag to the US Secret Service which blocked access to the president's records.

Agents alerted the Philadelphia Police.

"This is beyond dumb. This is really, really dumb and he will be disciplined," police spokesman Sgt. Ray Evers told KYW radio.

The matter is now under investigation by Police Internal Affairs.

Two Atlanta-area police officers are accused of a similar unauthorized background check on the president July 20. DeKalb County officers Ryan White and C.M. Route were placed on paid administrative leave.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Written by <P>By BET.com Staff</P>

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