‘Peeping-Tom detective’ used iPhone seized as evidence to spy on breastfeeding mom: lawsuit
A Michigan police officer used an iPhone and baby monitor to spy on a woman breastfeeding her infant son, according to a new lawsuit.
The suit claims Michael Emmi, a Hazel Park police officer, used an iPhone seized from the woman’s husband in a drug case to secretly watch the nude woman feeding her child, reported the Detroit Free Press.
Emmi used the iPhone to access a Nest Cam baby monitor in the child’s nursery, according to the lawsuit.
“It’s really creepy,” said Kevin Ernst, who is representing the woman. “Just the idea that he would take evidence home with him — it’s outrageous.”
The Hazel Park police chief described Emmi as an “exemplary” officer with 15 years of experience, and he said the lawsuit’s claims were “odd and suspicious.”
But he’s not planning to conduct an internal investigation into the allegations.
“There are a lot of gray areas here,” said Chief Martin Barner, of Hazel Park police. “What is she doing cohabitating with a felon? Maybe she’s got a bigger issue than my officer. There’s a lot more to this than, ‘Oh, this police officer was spying on me while I was naked.’ Seriously?”
The woman’s fiancé — who is the baby’s father — was arrested March 2 on marijuana charges, and his smart phone was logged into evidence at the Oakland County Jail.
But her lawsuit claims that Emmi took the iPhone home and used it to spy on her after she and her son got out of the bathtub.
Megan Pearce, who is a dispatcher for the Warren Police Department, said she noticed a small green light flashing on her Nest Cam monitor, which meant the camera was being monitored by a designated device.
Only three devices were linked to the baby monitor, and the lawsuit claims Pearce used a “find my iPhone” search to trace the location of her fiancé’s phone to Emmi’s home, the newspaper reported.
The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, claims the “peeping-Tom detective” violated her privacy, and Pearce said she fears footage will “wind up on the Internet.”
Emmi was sued in 2011 for allegedly using a Taser on a mentally ill man during a forced hospitalization, and that case is still pending.
He was sued the previous year for a warrantless search he conducted during a welfare check that turned up marijuana plants, but an appeals court later upheld the search as legal.
Watch this video report posted online by WJBK-TV: