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Gym mat death: New evidence points to foul play, expert says
Oct-09-2013 529 0


For the local sheriff's department, the death of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson is a closed book: A tragedy, but an accident.

State medical examiners concluded that Johnson suffocated in January after getting stuck in a rolled-up gym mat while reaching for a sneaker. That's a finding his family has never accepted, and one challenged by the findings of a second autopsy they commissioned.

Now, death scene imagery obtained by CNN has led a former FBI agent to question how the three-sport athlete died.

"I don't believe this was an accident. I think this young man met with foul play," said Harold Copus, now an Atlanta private investigator.

And Johnson's father, Kenneth Johnson, said he believes authorities aren't leveling with his family.

What happened to Kendrick Johnson?
"They know something happened in that gym, and they don't want it to come out," he said.

'Accidental' death challenged by new autopsy

A 15-minute video and nearly 700 photos taken by sheriff's investigators in Lowndes County documented the horrific scene. Johnson's body, clad in jeans and and layered orange and white T-shirts, was found wedged into a rolled-up wrestling mat in January. His face was bloated with pooled blood, some of which had poured out of his body, soaking his dreadlocks and spilling onto the floor.

There were more streaks of blood on a nearby wall -- but it wasn't Johnson's, according to investigators. Meanwhile, Copus said there appeared to be no blood on a sneaker that the teen supposedly was attempting to reach, located inches beneath him.

A pair of orange-and-black gym shoes found a few yards from the body had a substance that looked like blood on them, but investigators told CNN the stains weren't blood -- and so the shoes weren't collected as potential evidence. The same went for a hooded sweatshirt found a few feet away from the teen.

Copus said he can't explain how investigators handled items found around the gym.

"If you're running a crime scene, then you're going to say 'That's potential evidence. Obviously, we're going to check this out and find out who does it belong to,' " he said.

Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine refused to discuss the case with CNN, saying, "Our case is closed." But in June, an independent pathologist who conducted a second autopsy for the Johnson family found the teen suffered a blow to the right side of his neck that was "consistent with inflicted injury."

In May, sheriff's Lt. Stryde Jones told CNN that investigators tested the bloodstains on the nearby wall, "and it was not the blood of Kendrick Johnson." Investigators haven't determined whose blood it was, "but it doesn't appear to be involved in our crime in any way," he said.

"In the opinion of our crime scene personnel, after looking at it closely, the blood appeared as if it'd been there for an extended period of time. It didn't appear to be very fresh," Jones said.

But Copus said it's difficult to believe that old bloodstains weren't cleaned up.

"There is no way that they would allow whoever was supposed to clean this gym to leave that blood on that wall," he said.

In September, the Justice Department said it wouldn't open a civil rights investigation into Johnson's death. But federal prosecutors in south Georgia are reviewing the imagery to determine whether a separate investigation is necessary, the U.S. attorney's office in Macon told CNN.

For Johnson's father, the evidence is clear.

"Someone murdered him," he said. "They should be in jail."

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AP Dec-24-2014 180 0
A suburban St. Louis police officer shot and killed a man who pointed a gun at him at a gas station late Tuesday, police said.

A crowd of about 100 people were gathered early Wednesday at the scene in Berkeley, Missouri, a few miles from Ferguson, where a white police officer fatally shot black 18-year-old Michael Brown in August.

According to a statement from St. Louis County police spokesman Sgt. Brian Schellman, a Berkeley police officer was conducting a routine business check at a gas station around 11:15 p.m. Tuesday when he saw two men and approached them.

One of the men pulled a handgun and pointed it at the officer, Schellman said. The officer fired several shots, striking and fatally wounding the man.

The second man fled, and the dead man's handgun has been recovered, according to Schellman.

The St. Louis County Police Department is handling the investigation, and no further details about the incident were immediately available.

Authorities did not immediately identify the man who was shot. But the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that a woman at the scene, Toni Martin, said he was her son, 18-year-old Antonio Martin.

Toni Martin told the newspaper that her son was with his girlfriend at the time of the shooting.

The protesters who gathered early Wednesday milled around the gas pumps at the station, some taunting and yelling at police officers.

Some had strands of yellow police-line tape draped around their neck, with others using it as a headband.

Authorities from multiple agencies, some in riot gear, stood among the protesters.

Across the street, another gas station's glass doors were shattered, and police were standing outside the door, turning people away.

Orlando Brown, 36, of nearby St. Charles was among the protesters. He said he didn't have all the details about the shooting but said he wondered if it was a case of police aggression.

"I understand police officers have a job and have an obligation to go home to their families at the end of the night," he said. "But do you have to treat every situation with lethal force? ... It's not a racial issue, or black or white. It's wrong or right."

Brown said he was pepper-sprayed during the protest as police tried to separate him from a friend whose hand he was holding. He said his friend was arrested for failing to disperse.

Neither Schellman nor Berkeley police could immediately confirm that pepper spray was used or that arrests were made. Photos from the scene showed authorities scuffling with at least a few protesters.

Brown's death led to weeks of protests and some looting in the St. Louis area, actions that were renewed last month when a grand jury chose not to indict Officer Darren Wilson.

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Dec-23-2014 184 0
Washington, DC — The shooting death of two NYPD Officers was truly shocking and tragic. The National Bar Association extends its sincere condolences to the officers’ families, the New York Police Department and the citizens of New York City in mourning this senseless loss of life. We also wish a speedy recovery to the Baltimore victim who was seriously injured by the assailant.

Like so many others we have experienced in this Nation, including the deaths of 20 first graders in Connecticut; the murder of 12 and wounding of 58 in the theater shooting in Colorado; and the killing of 6 and wounding of 13 in Arizona at a Congresswoman's political rally, the taking of these lives provide continuing examples of individuals suffering mental illness having easy access to guns.

Many pundits have already suggested a causal connection between the senseless killing of these police officers and recent protests and community activism focusing our Nation’s attention on the issue of “police brutality” and “police shootings of unarmed African Americans."

"Any attempt to gain political mileage from this tragedy is divisive and only heightens the tension in communities across our Nation," stated Pamela Meanes, President of the National Bar Association.

"A careful and independent review of the killer's actions on the morning of the shooting and his background reveals that the senseless killing of these officers was not motivated by recent protests and activism, which for the most part have been peaceful and orderly by people of all races throughout the world, "President Meanes said. "On the same day that he committed the murder of the police officers, the assailant attempted to kill his ex-girlfriend as she tried to stop him from committing suicide. More importantly, the now deceased assailant had a documented history of mental illness, criminally violent behavior, and easy access to guns," stated President Meanes.

The National Bar Association understands and respects the job police officers perform every day to keep communities safe. However, we still believe that “police brutality” and “police shootings of unarmed African Americans” are concerns that requires an open discussion to improve the trust between communities of color and law enforcement. We will not waver in our demand for accountability when unarmed African Americans are being shot and killed.

#
ABOUT THE NATIONAL BAR ASSOCIATION
The National Bar Association was founded in 1925 and is the nation's oldest and largest national network of predominantly African-American attorneys and judges. It represents the interests of approximately 60,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students.The NBA is organized around 23 substantive law sections, 9 divisions, 12 regions and 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world. For more information, visit: www.nationalbar.org

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Larry Celona Dec-23-2014 232 0
The NYPD’s chief of department abruptly quit Friday rather than take a promotion from Police Commissioner Bill Bratton that the chief believed was a powerless position setting him up for failure, law-enforcement sources told The Post.

Philip Banks III was to be promoted to first deputy commissioner at a ceremony Monday but backed out at the last minute during a heated meeting at Police Headquarters, sources said.

“You still have not done anything. You have not changed the direction of the Police Department. You asked me to come up with six or seven policies that you did not implement,” Banks fumed at the city’s top cop.

“The department is just going to go further into turmoil, and I don’t want to get blamed for that.”

The move left the NYPD without a black or Hispanic person in any of its top three positions after Bratton’s ouster of First Deputy Rafael Pineiro, who resigned under pressure in September.

It also set up a looming crisis between Mayor de Blasio and the minority community, with several City Council members expressing outrage at Banks’ departure.

In a statement, Council Members Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn) and Vanessa Gibson (D-Bronx) said de Blasio “was elected in large part [by] New York’s black and brown community on assurance that he would mend poor police-community relations.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton, an NYPD critic, said he had spoken to de Blasio and would discuss their “conversation about diversity” at a rally in Harlem on Saturday.

Sources said that when Bratton offered Banks Pineiro’s post, Banks — then No. 3 in the NYPD’s chain of command — insisted on assuming more responsibilities than Pineiro had.

Pineiro’s duties were largely administrative, including oversight of the Personnel, Support Services and Criminal Justice bureaus.

Banks demanded that his successor as chief of department report directly to him, which is how the NYPD has historically operated, except under Commissioners Lee Brown and Ray Kelly.

His other conditions included oversight of the Internal Affairs Bureau, sources said.

During his first stint as commissioner, Bratton had restored the first deputy’s authority over the chief of department.

Bratton initially promised to grant Banks’ wishes, sources said.

But Bratton dithered, and the power struggle came to a head during Friday’s morning meeting at 1 Police Plaza as Banks demanded a firm answer.

Bratton said he needed more time to consider the matter, at which point Banks exploded and said he was quitting, sources said.

Sources said Bratton implored Banks to stay, telling him, “I think you’re making a major mistake.”

“I’m asking you to reconsider. Give me 30 days to work it out,” Bratton said.

But Banks refused and stormed out, sources said.

Bratton then called de Blasio, who summoned the commish to City Hall and chewed him out.

“You promised me you were going to use Banks and implement some of his policies. I counted on you to make changes, and now I’m blindsided by this,” de Blasio yelled.

Bratton appeared shaken as he left the meeting and “looked like he needed a glass of water,” which he was handed by an aide, sources said.

Reached Friday night, Banks said he still backed de Blasio and Bratton. “I support both of them and any comments to the contrary are not my comments,” Banks told The Post, insisting there had been no disagreement over policy.

“Those are not my comments. I’m not concerned with that. That did not come from me,” he said.

Sources said the mayor didn’t want to lose Banks, who was First Lady Chirlane McCray’s choice for commissioner over Bratton.

In a statement, de Blasio said he was “disappointed to hear of Chief Philip Banks’ personal decision to step down.”

“He has served New York City admirably during his nearly 30 years on the force, and we were enthusiastic about the leadership and energy he would have brought to the position of first deputy commissioner,” he added.

Bratton told reporters he was surprised when Banks quit, and he insisted he had planned on giving him more responsibilities.

He said Banks “was going to focus very heavily on our personnel-development training initiatives at the academy, and also the significant rebuilding of relationships with the minority communities after the questionable stop-and-frisk issues over the past few years.”

“He was going to effectively be my right-hand man as he has largely been this past year, so he will be missed, certainly by me both personally and professionally,” Bratton said.

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AP Dec-23-2014 210 0
A white Milwaukee police officer fired after killing a mentally ill black man in April won't face criminal charges, the top county prosecutor said Monday, a decision that prompted the U.S. attorney to later announce a federal investigation of the incident.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm said Christopher Manney won't be charged because he shot Dontre Hamilton in self-defense. Manney is at least the third white police officer across the country to avoid charges in the past month after a confrontation that led to a black man's death.

"(Manney's) use of force was privileged and justified," Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm said during a news conference. "On a human level, of course, it's tragic ... (but) our job is not to tell people necessarily what they want to hear."

After waiting eight months for the decision, Hamilton's family reacted with disappointment and anger. At an emotional news conference on the steps of the federal courthouse, family attorneys said they had called for a federal investigation. They also urged that protests be peaceful "so as not to dishonor Dontre's name and the Hamilton family name."

But Hamilton's brother Nate spoke bitterly, saying the family had "cried too long" and "we don't have to be the voice of reason."

"We need to stop the violence in our communities so we can get rid of these pigs that kill us," he said to shouts and applause. "Because that's what they are. They feed, they feed off of us. And we can't let them do that no more."

His remarks came just two days after two New York City police officers were ambushed in their patrol car. Police said that attack was carried out by a man who posted online about putting "wings on pigs."

Police Chief Edward Flynn said he was disturbed by Hamilton's choice of words. "I would like to chalk it up to the emotion of the moment, but we don't need people implying or expressing a need for violence against police," he said.

Jon Safran, a Hamilton family attorney, later said Nate Hamilton doesn't condone "any type of violence" and the family was dealing with "great anxiety and frustration."

Hamilton's family has led mostly peaceful protests in the months since his death. They took to the streets again Monday afternoon, with Nate Hamilton leading a crowd as it marched through intersections chanting "Arrest the police!" and "Whose streets? Our streets!" The group eventually dispersed without incident.

Later Monday evening, more protesters gathered in a pouring rain at the park where Manney shot Dontre Hamilton. Nate Hamilton told the group to remain peaceful because media outlets are looking to broadcast violence and the protesters need to be smarter than that. "Don't nobody be violent," he said.

That crowd left peacefully as well.

About eight hours after Chisholm announced his decision, U.S. Attorney James Santelle said the Department of Justice, along with his office and the FBI, will conduct a review to determine if there was a violation of federal civil rights law. Manney's attorney didn't return a message seeking comment.

Manney shot Hamilton, 31, after responding to a call of a man sleeping in a downtown park. Manney said Hamilton resisted when he tried to frisk him. The two exchanged punches before Hamilton got hold of Manney's baton and hit him on the neck, the former officer has said. Manney then shot Hamilton 14 times.

Several witnesses told police they saw Hamilton holding Manney's baton aggressively before Manney shot him, according to Chisholm's report. Police said they have no video of the incident.

Chisholm consulted with police use-of-force experts, who concluded Manney's conduct was justified. Emanuel Kapelsohn of the Peregrine Corp. said all the shots were fired in 3 or 4 seconds and there was no evidence that Manney continued firing after Hamilton hit the ground.

Manney suffered minor injuries, including a bite to his right thumb, a neck strain and a neck contusion, the report said. He was treated for post-concussion syndromes, a mild traumatic brain injury and had physical therapy for bicep and rotator cuff injuries, the report said.

Flynn fired Manney in October. He said then that Manney correctly identified Hamilton as mentally ill but ignored department policy and treated him as a criminal by frisking him.

Hamilton's family said he suffered from schizophrenia and had recently stopped taking his medication.

The Milwaukee Police Association condemned Manney's firing as a political move, and members voted no confidence in Flynn soon after the firing, which Manney has appealed. On Monday, the union praised Chisholm's decision, saying the officer had "no other option" in the situation.

Hamilton's death preceded the killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City, but the case hasn't attracted as much attention as those fatal encounters with police.

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Erin Calabrese Dec-22-2014 171 0
The Rev. Al Sharpton claimed Sunday that he’s received death threats in the wake of execution-style murders of two NYPD officers in Brooklyn.

Sharpton, appearing alongside the wife and mother of Eric Garner, played a voicemail for reporters purportedly of a racist threat made against him.

“Hey n—-r, stop killing innocent people, I’m going to get you!” according to the barely audible recording.

The voice mail also included three f-bombs that went over live television in New York.

Sharpton also took umbrage with police union leaders who have blamed Mayor de Blasio for allegedly inciting violence against cops.

NYPD Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were gunned down in cold blood as they sat in their patrol car on Saturday in Brooklyn.

“To blame the mayor and others is not what we need,” Sharpton said. “The blame game will only lead to further kinds of venom and further division.”

Sharpton urged protesters and police critics to remain peaceful.

“If we go into an area where it’s eye for an eye, then it is only a matter of who can out pluck eyes rather than who can make the system fair for everybody,” he said. “We have in every rally and march … been very clear in stressing of nonviolence. We even would stop rhetoric that was wrong.”

Police-community relations have been tense ever since a Staten Island grand jury failed to indict the white cop who put Garner, who was black, in a choke hold, contributing to his death.

Garner was being arrested for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes when Officer Daniel Pantaleo used a chokehold to subdue him.

Garner’s mom, Gwen Carr, and wife Esaw Garner eulogized the two slain officers Sunday and rejected any link between the protests they’ve led and Saturday’s tragedy in Brooklyn.

“Anyone that is standing beside us, we want you to not use Eric Garner’s name for violence because we are not about that,” Carr said.

“These two police officers lost their lives senselessly, and our condolence (are) with the family, and we stand with the family.”

Esaw Garner added: “My husband was not a violent man, and we don’t want any violence connected to his name, thank you.”

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Barry Paddock Dec-22-2014 211 0
Gunman Ismaaiyl Brinsley had a “very troubled childhood” and had previously tried to kill himself, his mother told authorities, according to NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce.

“The mother expressed fear of him, and she said she hasn’t seen him in one month,” Boyce said. “Brinsley attempted suicide in the past and attempted to hang himself a year ago.”

The 28-year-old cop killer, who is estranged from his family, has a criminal record that stretches back at least a decade, with arrests in Ohio and Georgia.

Brinsley had 15 prior arrests in Georgia for misdemeanor assault, shoplifting, grand larceny and gun possession, Boyce said.

Brinsley was also arrested four times in Ohio for robbery and misdemeanor theft and did a two-year prison stint from August 2011 to July 2013 for criminal possession of a weapon, said Boyce.

Despite the long rap sheet, a friend of Brinsley said he was shocked to hear about the twisted execution, describing the killer as a smart and “God-fearing” man.


Ismaaiyl Brinsley, left, and friend Jay Romero, right. Romero recounted how Brinsley was a 'God-fearing person' and called Brinsley's actions 'a cowardly move.'
Jay Hustle via Facebook

Ismaaiyl Brinsley, left, and friend Jay Romero, right. Romero recounted how Brinsley was a 'God-fearing person' and called Brinsley's actions 'a cowardly move.'


“This would’ve never crossed my mind for him to do something like this,” said Jay Romero, who spent a month with Brinsley last Christmas.

“It brought tears to my eyes. No human has the right to take any human’s life, that’s wrong,” said Romero, 29. “What he did is a cowardly move. I don’t know what he went through, what was on his mind.”

After shooting his ex-girlfriend in Maryland, cops said Brinsley drove to Brooklyn and ambushed Officers Rafael Ramos, 40, and Wenjian Liu, 32, as they were sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn. He then blew his brains out on a nearby G train platform.

The cop killer had a 'very troubled childhood' and had previously tried to take his own life, according to his mom.


He said Brinsley had two daughters and had been dating a woman in Baltimore for a long time and mentioned her often.

“He always talked about her, that she was the only girl he loved,” he said.

Brinsley’s rampage started about 5:45 a.m. when he shot ex-girlfriend Shaneka Thompson in Owings Mills, Md., police said.

She remains hospitalized with wounds to her stomach.

He stole the 29-year-old woman’s phone and took off to his native Brooklyn, posting ominous messages on Instagram showing his bloodstained pants and the handgun that was later used to murder the officers.

Romero said Brinsley would often post news stories on his Facebook page, but never accompanied them with strong opinions. He didn’t remember Brinsley talking about killing cops.

Officials said it didn’t appear that Brinsley was affiliated with any gang.

Brinsley was Muslim and also went by Isaiah and Moses, Romero said.

The Vegas man said he’d refer to his friend as “Brooklyn” when they texted each other.

“He was very proud of being where he was from, Brooklyn,” he said.

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Tina Moore Dec-20-2014 368 0
Two NYPD cops were executed Saturday after a gang member from Baltimore drove to the city to kill police officers after wounding his girlfriend, sources told the Daily News.

The shooter, identified as Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, boasted about wanting to kill cops in the hours before he ambushed the officers outside the Tompkins Houses in Bedford-Stuyvesant about 3 p.m. Saturday.

“I’m Putting Wings On Pigs Today. They Take 1 Of Ours...Let’s Take 2 of Theirs,” Brinsley wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of a silver handgun and a series of hashtags referencing the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

Brinsley made good on his promise, firing several rounds into the patrol car parked near Myrtle and Tompkins Aves., witnesses said.
“The perp came out of the houses, walked up behind the car and lit them up,” a high-ranking police official told the Daily News.

Brinsley then sprinted around the corner to the Myrtle-Willoughby Aves. subway station where he shot himself in the head, police said. He was later pronounced dead.

Both officers were rushed to Woodhull Hospital but were later pronounced dead.

Witnesses said the officers never had a chance.

“He just walked up and shot that cop in the head,” one man said.

“They basically dragged two cops out their car,” a second witness said. “I saw it. One was shot in the face. There was blood coming out of his face.”

Brinsley is believed to be a member of a Baltimore gang, Black Guerilla Family, sources said. The gang has vowed retribution for the deaths of Garner and Brown. Garner died after being put in a chokehold by NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo on July 17 on Staten Island. Brown, who was unnarmed, was shot dead by Ferguson, Mo. cop Darren Wilson on Aug. 9th. Neither cop was indicted by grand juries, sparking national protests.

“I have spoken to the Garner family and we are outraged by the early reports of the police killed in Brooklyn today," said the Rev. Al Sharpton in a statement Saturday evening. "Any use of the names of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, in connection with any violence or killing of police, is reprehensible and against the pursuit of justice in both cases.

Details of the shooting outside Baltimore were scarce. A family member of the victim told the Daily News Brinsley shot her in the stomach.

She was expected to survive.

Earlier Saturday, Brinsley posted a menacing message on Facebook. “I Always Wanted To Be Known For Doing Something Right...But My Past Is Stalking Me and My Present Is Haunting Me.”

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Deborah Hastings Dec-20-2014 227 0
Some witnesses "clearly " lied to the St. Louis grand jury investigating the police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., prosecutor Robert McCulloch said in an interview.

"There were people who came in and yes, absolutely lied under oath. Some lied to the FBI, even though they're not under oath, that's another potential offense, a federal offense," McCulloch said Friday, in a discussion with KTRS radio in St. Louis.

Nonetheless, he said he will not seek perjury charges. "Some were clearly not telling the truth, no question about it," McCulloch said. But he wanted all sides to have their say, he added.

In his first public statements since announcing on Nov. 24 that the white police officer who killed the unarmed African-American teen would not be indicted, McCulloch said he has kept quiet because he didn't want "to fire things up."


Even though it was apparent that some witnesses were not telling the truth, McCulloch said he allowed them to testify because he wanted jurors to hear all accounts of how Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson shot to death 18-year-old Brown.

"I thought it was much more important to present the entire picture and say listen, this is what this witness says he saw, even though there was a building between where the witness says he was and where the events occurred, so they couldn't have seen that," McCulloch told the station.

The credibility of two people who testified, identified only as Witness 40 and Witness 41, has already been questioned after transcripts of their testimonies and other details were released publicly.

Witness 40 admitted to investigators she was bi-polar and racist and had sought donations for Wilson. She came forward five weeks after the Aug. 9 shooting and claimed she had driven to Ferguson "so I stop calling Blacks N------ and Start calling them People," she wrote in a journal that she showed the grand jury.

Witness 41, it was revealed this week, told prosecutors -- after she testified -- that she had recorded the entire shooting incident on her cell phone. But she had dropped her phone in a toilet, she said, and then threw it away.

"Just like any jury, they can believe all, part or nothing of any witness testimony," McCulloch said.

His handling of the case has been criticized from the beginning. On Thursday, Democratic State Rep. Karla May said McCulloch should be investigated for prosecutorial misconduct.

"My job is to not get an indictment, my job is to seek the truth and seek justice and do what is right," McCulloch said in the interview.

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Jon Gargis Dec-19-2014 309 0
A recently sworn-in Dalton police officer is off the job following his arrest Thursday on a child molestation charge.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested Officer Daniel Tolbert just after 5 p.m., Dalton police spokesman Bruce Frazier said Thursday night. The arrest came nine days after the department placed Tolbert on administrative leave immediately after being informed by the GBI and the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office that he was under investigation on suspicion of child molestation.

“I am very disappointed to hear about this allegation, and upset about the discredit this will surely bring on our department and officers,” Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker said in a news release Thursday. “We would never condone or support the kind of behavior that would warrant this charge. The men and women of this department hold ourselves to a very high standard of behavior, and we know the community we serve expects our behavior to be beyond reproach.”

Though police officials did not have specifics on the allegations against Tolbert, Frazier said the alleged incident did not occur while Tolbert was on the job. At the time of his suspension, he was in the department’s field training program, and as a trainee, he was never unsupervised or alone while on duty. Probationary trainees, Frazier added, ride with an experienced training officer for at least four months after completing the police academy.

Tolbert, 32, completed the police academy in September and was sworn in as an officer on Sept. 16. Though Tolbert is currently on administrative leave, the city will begin the termination process immediately, Frazier said.

Prior to joining Dalton’s police force, Tolbert served in the U.S. Army, the U.S. Border Patrol in California and was a jail deputy with the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office, according to the police department’s blog.

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