SPPD woes continue as new allegations surface

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Officials with both the Marion County Sheriff’s Department and 12th Judicial District Attorney’s Office have acknowledged that there was an incident late Friday, October 27 or early Saturday, October 28 that has resulted in an investigation into the behavior of at least one South Pittsburg Police Department officer.

Marion County Sheriff Bo Burnett said, “There was complaint against a police officer. I was notified Friday night. I had a detective respond and TBI was called in also.”

This is on the heals of an excessive force investigation already in the hands of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s (TBI) from an incident a few weeks ago dealing with an officer allegedly kicking a suspect in the head who was already in handcuffs. That incident was immediately followed by the demotion of SPPD Chief of Police Ryan Meeks due to “low morale” of the department. Morale seems less and less likely a consideration as the department continues to be on the receiving end of serious complaints.

Whereas details are stilll coming forward, the allegation stems from a female that was transported by the police department earlier in the evening from a Halloween-themed party. The female was allegedly taken from the party for public intoxication. The decision was made to take the woman to her residence in lieu of arrest. Later, a separate officer was reported coming to the female’s residence and the female “came out and jumped in the back of the patrol car.” The second officer allegedly then took the female on a personal tour inside of municipal building or buildings. Upon returning the female to her residence, the female’s father allegedly indicated that the female had been sexually assaulted by the second officer. The female was then brought to Parkridge West by the father where there was no disclosure of what medical care was administered.

TBI spokesman Josh DeVine reported late Sunday morning, after a Marion County News inquiry regarding an investigation, said via email, “We have no information or confirmation to provide as the District Attorney General has not requested we open an investigation.” All local indicators are that DA Mike Taylor has now asked for an investigation.

Of course, Marion County News will continue to monitor the story.