If Cody Klingmann hadn’t resigned from the Knoxville Police Department this week, there was a good chance he would have been fired for the part he played in a two-vehicle crash that killed a Knoxville man, officials confirmed Thursday.
It remains to be seen what, if anything, will happen to the one other officer who was involved in the incident and still remains employed by the police department.
There were three KPD officers involved in the events leading up to the crash on Kingston Pike that killed 28-year-old Mauricio Luna on August 13, 2021: Klingmann, Adam Rosenbaum, and Jasmine Reed.
The officers, each of whom was driving their own patrol car, were reportedly responding to a possible burglary call. Klingmann was going nearly 100 mph without using his emergency lights or sirens — as required by law and KPD policy — when he T-boned Luna’s car just after 3 a.m.
Klingmann resigned Tuesday after he was told about the results of an investigation conducted by KPD’s Internal Affairs Unit (IAU).
“I can confirm that IAU investigators did sustain multiple class A policy violations against Officer Klingmann,” KPD spokesperson Scott Erland said Thursday. “The resulting disciplinary action for class A policy violations can range up to termination at the discretion of the Chief of Police.”
Rosenbaum resigned from the agency in October, 2021, but Reed has remained assigned to the Patrol Division.
“We cannot speculate on if Rosenbaum’s resignation had anything to do with the incident and subsequent investigation or not. He only cited personal reasons for his decision to leave the department,” Erland continued.
“Officer Jasmine Reed is the third officer involved, and her pre-disciplinary hearing has not yet been held,” he said. “I honestly don’t know when the pre-disciplinary hearing for Officer Reed is and couldn’t comment any further on that.”
In March, prosecutors working under Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen chose not to file criminal charges against Klingmann, arguing instead that Luna had contributed to his own death by pulling into the path of the speeding patrol car.
When asked if KPD officials had requested the DA’s office to reconsider prosecuting Klingmann in light of the IAU’s findings, Erland replied: “The KPD has not and would not go that route. The crash was separately and independently investigated by the Tennessee Highway Patrol, who then turned over their investigative findings to the DA’s Office. It is then solely the responsibility of the DA’s office to make a determination regarding prosecution. It would be inappropriate for us to insert ourselves in that process.”
Luna’s mother has filed a $3 million lawsuit against Klingmann and the City of Knoxville. The lawsuit claims that Klingmann was negligent because he was speeding, because he failed to turn on his emergency equipment as required by law, and because he failed to exercise due care or to keep his vehicle under control.
J.J. Stambaugh can be reached at email@example.com.
Published on June 10, 2022.