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RPD officer charged with exposing himself to a minor has a history of misconduct

The outside of the Rochester City Public Safety Building
Emily Hunt
Rochester City Public Safety Building

Long before he was charged last week with sending indecent images to a minor, Rochester Police Officer Shawn Jordan was suspended from the force for his actions while involved in a love triangle with an exotic dancer.

Documents detailing Jordan’s suspension in 2016 showed that he misused his Rochester Police Department-issued car and computer, and was said to have threatened to kill a man and sabotage his car. The documents are contained in a database of police disciplinary files made public under state law in 2020.

Jordan was 32 and eight years into his career in 2016 when he began dating an exotic dancer, according to the records. The behavior in question began in March of that year, when Jordan moved the woman out of the house of her previous boyfriend.

On March 26, Jordan used his department vehicle to pick up the woman from her boyfriend’s home outside the city limits. He did not notify any of his commanders or fellow officers on duty that he would be doing this or explain why beyond that the woman was having some “issues with a roommate.” Jordan drove the woman around and helped move some of her property.

The following day, the man found his Jeep had been sabotaged.

“On Easter Sunday early afternoon I was golfing with my brother and I went to fill up my Jeep at the Fastrac on Browncroft Boulevard, or maybe it's Atlantic there, and went to put the gas nozzle in and gas was spitting out, and I went to inspect and I found cut up ping pong balls in my gas line,” the man said in an interview with the department’s Professional Standards Section, which investigated the incident.

The woman told him that Jordan had done it. A police report was filed on April 13.

The identities of the woman and the man were redacted from the disciplinary files before they were made public.

Jordan’s relationship was apparently short-lived. On April 23, the woman had told Jordan she “no longer wanted to be with him,” for the reason that he was talking to another woman. The woman went back to her boyfriend, prompting Jordan to threaten the man.

That night, according to the records, Jordan allegedly sent the woman a Snapchat message that included a threat to the man. Later, when he called her, he allegedly threatened to kill him. The texts and phone calls led to the man setting up security cameras around the house.

“He knows where we live, obviously I know he has weapons, he has military training, so, it makes you feel unsafe in your home when somebody threatens your life that has that type of training and those type of capabilities, and, you know, it is unsettling,” the man told investigators. “And we bought a camera and we put it up in the front window, you know, just to kind of, you know, protect ourselves, just to kind of see what was going on.”

At some point during that period of time, Jordan used his department-issued computer to dig up personal information on the man, including running his license plate.

On April 26, then-Chief Michael Ciminelli served Jordan with an order demanding that Jordan not contact the man or go near his home. Jordan was suspended that day with pay, pending an investigation.

In his interview with investigators, Jordan denied that he threatened the man. In fact, he argued he was being harassed by him.

When investigators asked Jordan why the man would warn his workplace about him, Jordan called the man a liar.

“My guess would be because he's told them about stuff that doesn't exist. I mean, he's a chronological liar if you ask me,” Jordan said. “I mean, if I worked with a bunch of people and I was in his situation, I'd tell them the same thing so that they would be on the lookout. It's only going to help boost his ego.”

In the investigative summary, which was dated Oct. 19, 2016, Jordan was found to have violated the department’s code of conduct on multiple counts. Among them were misuse of his department vehicle, misuse of computer equipment, and violation of department code of conduct.

He was suspended for 10 days without pay as a result.

Last week, Jordan was arraigned on charges that he allegedly exposed himself to a 16-year-old girl during a Facebook video chat on March 16. He was released on his own recognizance, and is due back in court on May 3.

Chief David Smith called Jordan’s alleged actions “reprehensible,” and has suspended him without pay.

Gino Fanelli is an investigative reporter who also covers City Hall. He joined the staff in 2019 by way of the Rochester Business Journal, and formerly served as a watchdog reporter for Gannett in Maryland and a stringer for the Associated Press.
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