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Raleigh police officer cited for running red light

Posted May 6, 2010

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— Raleigh police cited an officer for running a red light before a wreck in downtown Raleigh Wednesday.

Jose Miguel Rios Jr., 35, was driving a police cruiser east on Martin Street around 8:30 a.m. when he ran a red light and collided with a 2008 Nissan Sentra that was southbound on Blount Street, according to the wreck report.

Police said Rios, who was not injured, was not responding to a call.

Kelvin Morrison, Danielle Morrison Officer crash delivers blow to local family

"He just ran the red light," said Kelvin Morrison, who was in the Sentra. "There were no signs, nothing, warning us of him coming."

Morrison, 26, suffered a sprained arm; his wife Danielle Morrison, 19, suffered bruises. The couple's 20-month-old son, Jayden, was not injured.

The three were taken to a local hospital as a precaution.

Rios, who received a citation for a red-light violation, told the investigating officer that the sunlight blinded him and that he assumed the light was still green, according to the report.

Both vehicles were going 30 mph at the time of impact.

The front end of the police cruiser was torn off, and the Morrisons said their car is irreparable.

"He got out of the car and admitted he ran the light, and that was the extent of him talking to us," Kelvin Morrison said. "Everything else has been through his sergeant."

"When a police officer is involved (in a wreck), I would expect the police officer to say, 'I'm sorry,'" Danielle Morrison said.

Rios' supervising officer did offer an apology to the family and provided the city's insurance information.

A Raleigh police spokesman declined to comment on the wreck but said the department is working with the insurance company to help the Morrison family get a rental car.

The wreck couldn't have come at a worse time, the Morrisons said. Both are out of work and in transitional housing.

The Durham Interfaith Hospitality Network is helping them with meals and shelter while they look for jobs.

"We are a very strong family, and we have love," Danielle Morrison said. "We have love, so we'll make it through."


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  • leo-nc May 7, 2010

    ...and who said this cop was a bad apple? Spare me the bad apple comments people.

  • leo-nc May 7, 2010

    Long vacation eh Journey? lol Anyway, what standard would that be, perfection? Give me the standard and I'd be glad to talk about it. Get back to work now...

  • klmorrison May 7, 2010

    Just so everyone knows...we are not talking about the police hitting someone who has a job with a guaranteed lunch break....we are talking about a cop running a red light, hitting a family with no monetary income other than their son's SSI payment that paid for the car which was the last thing they had left in their lives in order to get back on their feet, and then having the audacity to not have the insurance that they force us to have to pay for the damages THEY CAUSED!!! The end result is a hypocritical police force that can ram anyone they want without any consequence more major than a traffic ticket!!!

  • slayerhil May 7, 2010

    **** happens. I feel bad for the victims involved but hold nothing against the officer. I'm sure he'll be much more careful from here on out. Hope everyone has a safe and happy Mother's Day.

  • RPD07 May 7, 2010

    We are held to a higher standard!

    You get your "freedom of speech" at home, at work, out in public, etc. while WE have to bite our tongue. You can curse me up and down both sides but if I tell you what I think, I am "disrespectful" and get reprimanded through work.

    I can be off duty with some friends and say something that might be offensive, and if I'm recognized as a cop then I get complained on OFF DUTY. Then I STILL get in trouble AT WORK because of "conduct unbecoming".

    You get in a wreck on your "guaranteed" lunch break and it's no big deal. I'm not guaranteed a lunch but I might be trying to eat my fries that I picked up in the drive through going from one call to the next and miss that stoplight and hit a car. I get a ticket AND get disciplined at work.

    I'm not making excuses for breaking the law, but what I am saying is that YES, we are held to a higher standard. I SHOULD get a ticket if I am careless and wreck, but I'm not even afforded a basic right (speech)!!

  • CarolinianByChoice May 7, 2010

    "I don't think that Deputy should get a ticket, they work very hard. Lead by example"

    Longhorns, you are joking, right? If one runs a red light, they should get a ticket, whether they carry a badge or not. He made an incorrect assumption, he needs a ticket just like anyone else who makes the same mistake. BTW: the story indicates it was a RPD officer, not a WCSO Deputy.

    I'm not saying a LEO should not go through a red light when they are answering an high-priority call or in pursuit; I've seen them be careful enough in these situations.

    All you people out there bashing the LEO's: why don't you get off your duffs and go protect the public while having to deal with the criminal element, a constantly critical public and cruddy pay - THEY are the ones putting themselves in harms way to protect YOU. If you can do it so much better get out there!

    There are always a few bad apples in ANY profession, so don't judge the whole on the behavior of a few.

  • got your 6 May 7, 2010

    Give me a break....I will never trade my job for anything. Some of our citizens that we serve like to make comments without leaving a name. Well I am going to put my name out there....I have worked with Officer Rios. He is a great guy and a better officer.

    There are hundreds of accidents that happen each and every day in the triangle area. This was an accident like every other accident. How would the six o'clock news look if every accident got this much attetion?

    We are held to a higher standard. However, we not only drive to and from work, we drive at work. We average up to 150 miles per day at work. Deputies and Troopers average more per day. (3,000 miles per month, approx 36,000 per year) Puls what we drive during our off time. Out of all the miles driven approx 50,000 for a year and Rios is getting hammered. Give me a break. We drive more miles in a year than most of you drive in four years. How many of you, have not had an accident in 4 years?

    Rob Woziki

  • Journey985 May 7, 2010

    Cry me a river Leo-nc, LEO's need to be held to a higher standard then Joe Q. Public, they have sworn an oath to Protect and Serve, and to uphold the laws of this state. Please, show me in the handbook where it is written that if you approach an intersection and can not tell what color the light is that you should "ASSUME" the light is green?? I'm waiting, if you have time between your whining.

  • cary1969 May 7, 2010

    maybe mclovin was in the back seat

  • cary1969 May 7, 2010

    yes, caruana1976, humans do make mistakes but officers should be held to a higher standard