A photo has emerged appearing to show a Massachusetts police officer using his cell phone whilst driving his patrol car.
Reading police are investigating the incident after the photograph gained considerable attention on social media, according to the Boston Globe.
Chief Mark Segalla confirmed in a short statement that the force are looking into the photograph to learn whether the officer in question was actually texting whilst driving.
Dressed in his familiar fluorescent yellow coat with American badge, the police officer appears to have his right hand on the steering.
In his left hand, a mobile phone can just about be seen from above the vehicle’s door, which is clearly marked Reading police.
The shocking image was captured by local resident Gerry A. Sullivan, who uploaded the picture to her Facebook page.
She said she spotted the police officer in his car and quickly grabbed a snap of him from the passenger seat of her car.
‘As I was riding passenger thru reading square at about 25 miles an hour this is what I saw! He was driving right beside me,’ she wrote on Facebook.
‘No he wasn’t parked he was moving at the same speed! Didn’t even realize I took his picture!! So bad that our police are breaking the law!’
We are not looking to rush to judgment – at this early stage we do not know if the vehicle was being driven or was parked along the side of the road,’ Chief Mark Segalla said.
‘If the investigation shows that the officer was driving while using a mobile device, we will address that violation appropriately,’ he confirmed.