On April 11, 2016 A St. Paul man by the name of Franchize Baby McWright, 27, was pulled over for a broken windshield. At the time Officer Finnegan requested the normal information of license, registration and insurance information of McWright. McWright offered his cell phone to Finnegan with the proof of his insurance on that as he had no other means of proving insurance which had a picture of his insurance on it.
The officer returned to his vehicle to write a citation for the cracked windshield and to check on the information that he had been given as is standard procedure for St. Paul MN. Officers. During the stop, McWright continued to stick his head out his window and accused Finnegan of stealing his phone, according to the criminal complaint later filed against him.
Finnegan assured McWright that he was only using the phone for the photo he had provided, that he would get the hone back shortly. McWright continued with this behavior according to documents.
When Finnegan returned and gave McWright his summons, McWright stated he felt threatened and sick, he demanded that Finnegan call his supervisor and a medic which Finnegan did. McWright stated that Finnegan had pulled his weapon and threated him.
Meanwhile Finnegan had taken photographs of the cracked windshield to support the citation that had been written for court documentation. McWright objected to this and claimed that his vehicle had been illegally searched and that things had been stolen from it. Finnegans supervisor explained that it was just a photograph to support the citation.
Medics checked McWright on the scene and found nothing wrong with him.
McWright filed formal charges against Finnegan demanding he be disarmed and suspended from duty for threatening him, for pulling his weapon, for stealing items from his vehicle and the illegal search of his vehicle.
What McWright did not know was that the entire vehicle stop had been recorded on a dash camera from Finnegans vehicle. There had been no threats, no search, Finnegan never drew his weapon and no items had been taken from within McWrights vehicle.
Franchize Baby McWright was charged Wednesday in Ramsey County District Court with four counts of falsely reporting police misconduct in St. Paul. Falsely reporting police misconduct is a gross misdemeanor; the maximum sentence is up to 1 year in jail and up to a $3,000 fine.