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‘Willful pattern of abusive use of force’ further details of case against ex-Caldwell police officer

New documents from the US Attorney’s Office give a clearer timeline of the investigation into the former Caldwell police officer, Joseph Hoadley.

CALDWELL, Idaho — Little by little, we are learning more about the FBI’s investigation, and the government case, against a former Caldwell Police Lieutenant, Joseph Hoadley.

Earlier this year, a federal grand jury indicted Joseph Hoadley on four felony counts: 

  • Deprivation of rights under color of the law 
  • Destruction, alteration or falsification of records in federal investigations 
  • Tampering with a witness by harassment 
  • Tampering with documents 

Hoadley pleaded not guilty to all four counts. 

KTVB obtained new documents the US Attorney's Office filed in federal court over the past couple weeks, giving us a clearer timeline of what they say happened. They say multiple whistleblowers from within Caldwell Police Department (CPD) reported abusive police practices to the FBI in 2020. 

This includes allegations Hoadley used excessive force multiple times against people he arrested between 2012 and 2017. 

The FBI started investigating Hoadley, and other Caldwell officers, for "willfully depriving Caldwell residents of their constitutional rights.” 

Documents show Hoadley called the investigation a “witch hunt” and hindered it. 

The government said that in June of 2021, Hoadley also threatened a fellow officer not to talk to the FBI. 

Court records show he signed a plea agreement in March 2022, admitting he assaulted a man, referred to as BH, at the center of this excessive force case against him, but soon after withdrew from the agreement. 

The new documents show, a week after a grand jury indicted Hoadley on the first two charges, another lieutenant told him to return his work cell phones, laptop and guns. Hoadley said he could not meet up, so Lt. Dave Wright picked them up the next day. 

The US Attorney’s Office said when Wright took Hoadley’s computer to city staff to extract data, he found Hoadley had wiped the data from his computer and phones the night before. 

Wright turned everything over to the FBI, whose agents confirmed the same. 

Citing obstruction of a federal investigation, a grand jury indicted Hoadley on more charges, harassing a witness and destroying a record. 

In the latest documents, the District Attorney's Office wants to present more evidence showing Hoadley used excessive force against other people he was arresting, in addition to BH, in the federal case. They argue that Hoadley intentionally and willfully punched, hit, and pushed arrestees as punishment because he felt disrespected, took delight in it, and bragged about it to other officers. 

The government claims these past incidents are relevant to the case at hand and show a "willful pattern of abusive use of force." 

Hoadley filed a motion on August 19, asking the court not to introduce the government's evidence. He denies he used excessive force, or denies these incidents happened the way the government claims. His attorney also said it is unfair, that the government plans to paint Hoadley as a bad cop but stops him from showing proof of his good policing record. 

There will be a virtual hearing on these motions Friday morning. Hoadley’s trial is on September 19 in U.S. District Court in Boise. The motions filed by the government and by the defense are both posted below:

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