FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Dynamic Plaques - FVT Plaques
FVT Plaques is introducing new dynamic plaques to recognize police and sheriff's...

Security Policy and the Cloud

Ask The Expert

Mark Rivera

FBI-CJIS Security Policy Compliance Officer

Mark Rivera, Customer Retention Manager and CJIS Security Compliance Officer with Vigilant Solutions, served for sixteen years with the Maryland State Police, retiring at the rank of First Sergeant with thirteen of those years at the supervisory and command level. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from The Johns Hopkins University and Secret clearance through the FBI, Baltimore.

Top News

CHP Settles Over Leaked Photos of Young Woman Killed in Crash

January 31, 2012  | 

Five years after grisly photographs of an Orange County, Calif., teen killed in a car accident began appearing online, the young woman's family has settled a lawsuit filed against the California Highway Patrol for its role in disseminating the graphic images taken at the scene, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The photos from the Halloween 2006 accident show 18-year-old Nicole "Nikki" Catsouras maimed and nearly decapitated in her father's mangled Porsche. The pictures were taken by CHP investigators and were never intended for public release but were leaked by two Highway Patrol dispatchers.

Under terms of the settlement, the Catsouras family received about $2.37 million in damages.

Comments (8)

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

Joshua Jones @ 1/31/2012 5:20 PM

I feel bad that the family had to go through that. But i dont see any reason they should be awarded so much money from the CHP considering the agency its self never did anything wrong. The dispatchers should be held responsible not the entire agency.

Dustin @ 1/31/2012 11:15 PM

Im sorry but that's way too much money! Wow.

Dustin @ 1/31/2012 11:16 PM

Had those been taken by a bystander and posted (which happens all the time) it wouldnt have been an issue...

Greg @ 2/1/2012 5:53 AM

Well, it is California. Remember the old accident movies played in high school? "Signal 30" was a classic, dying teens in cars, blood etc...all in black & white...but they were a learning tool.

The best thing about Nikki was she was the only one hurt...this very stupid and careless girl "stole" her father's car, was speeding over 100, hit another car and then showed Darwin at work.

Pity for the parents, but it did happen on a public road, she was a dangerous driver and risked other's lives...there isn't an expectation of privacy for criminal behavior.

Rich parents, California courts...what a surprise.

Mark Tarte @ 2/1/2012 10:30 AM

I believe it a correct verdict. What investigator in their right mind sends a text photo from a crime scene or collision scene to anyone? The dispatchers I hope were fired for disseminating these photos. The Chippie probably should be too. I'm sorry, but if you want to share photos of something that the dispatchers were involved in then print the damn things out, show then and then collect them for your report file. ANY cop who flicks a picture at any scene with a cell camera or any camera and then forwards it by any means should be fired. Absolutely no excuse for this.

Capt David LACO Retired @ 2/1/2012 5:29 PM

Wrong verdict....I have taken 1000's of photos, so have many others, and sent them out. I agree about what if it was a civilian? Sue the state, they have the money...they should be ashamed.

Ron @ 2/1/2012 9:13 PM

The Los Angeles Coroner program that ran misbehavin' kids through the morgue was a great tool for making them aware of their actions, and they were'nt looking at photos on a gurney!!!

Al @ 9/12/2012 5:38 AM

I don't agree that it's too much money people who work in law enforcement have to be held to a higher standard and should be accountable for all their actions.

Join the Discussion

POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent News

Baltimore Officers File Suit Against Mosby Over Freddie Gray Prosecutions
Two officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray are suing Baltimore State's Attorney...
Video: Florida Officers Escort Fallen Comrade's Daughter to Prom
The daughter of a fallen Tarpon Springs, FL, police officer was escorted to her senior...
Judge Called Future Massachusetts Cop Killer "Troubling" Then Set $500 Bail
“This is troubling. Authority means nothing to him, it’s exactly the opposite,” said Judge...
Video: NYPD vs. NYFD Charity Football Game Ends in Brawl
In video shot on the field just after the cops' 29-13 win over the firefighters at the...
Baltimore Prosecutor Under Fire for Losing Freddie Gray Cases
With two trials and no convictions in the trials of Baltimore officers involved in the...

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Zip Code:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine