Providence police officer cleared of wrongdoing after internal probe


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Providence police officer placed on administrative leave last week amid an internal investigation has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Late Wednesday afternoon, police said Officer James Lewis was not involved in any criminal activity and did not provide any information to known criminals.

On Tuesday, police sources said Lewis was being investigated for allegedly running license plates for non-police matters.

The sources said the internal investigation was also focused on stolen tires and rims.

According to Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré, a witness came forward Wednesday night and told police Lewis helped her by providing information after she was involved in a car crash.

A news release said the other driver wanted to settle the matter privately and not get the police involved.

The woman later asked Lewis to look up the other vehicle to make sure it was registered and insured, according to the release.

The woman told investigators she provided a screenshot from Lewis to someone in East Providence who was going to repair her vehicle. The individual was later determined to be a suspect in an East Providence tire and rim theft case.

The release went on to say East Providence police saw the image came from a Providence police officer and contacted Providence. At that point, the Providence Office of Professional Responsibility got involved, and Lewis was placed on leave.

“The information that Officer Lewis provided is a common police practice and within the legitimacy of the work of a law enforcement officer,” Paré said in a statement.  “At this point, we do not believe he was assisting a criminal enterprise whatsoever and he used the database to assist an individual who he serves as a mentor to within the community.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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