The Columbus, Ohio police unit that gained notoriety for arresting Stormy Daniels in a strip club last year was shut down this week after one of the detectives was arrested on federal charges that he kidnapped and raped women.
The Columbus interim Chief of Police Tom Quinlan announced the vice unit — which investigates prostitution, alcohol and gambling crimes in Columbus — would be shut down in a video posted to Twitter on Tuesday.
“While today’s decision is not a reflection on all the officers assigned to vice, it has become clear, there’s a better method of addressing the community’s needs when it comes to the enforcement of prostitution, alcohol and gambling,” he said. “Soon I am meeting with the deputy chief to develop a new model of enforcement.”
CPD Announces Major Change in Narcotics Bureau-abolishing Vice Section assignments which fall under the Narcotics Bureau. Vice-related crimes will be addressed using a community-centered approach.
Tonight Chief Quinlan met w/remaining Vice officers who will seek new assignments. pic.twitter.com/FFV0uFt5hj
— Columbus Ohio Police (@ColumbusPolice) March 20, 2019
The Ohio detective, Andrew Mitchell, was indicted two weeks ago following a months-long investigation into the unit, The New York Times reported.
Last July, the vice unit was scrutinized nationally after four of it detectives went to a strip club where Daniels was performing and arrested her for illegal sexually oriented activity, after she fondled three of the undercover officers. The charges were dropped less than a day later on a technicality. The unit was later investigated to determine whether the investigation was politically motivated, given Daniels’ national status as the porn actress who was paid hush money to stay quiet about her alleged affair with President Trump.
In January, Daniels sued the police department over the arrest on charges that the city prosecutor later determined should no longer be enforced.