Minden Press-Herald

Wednesday
Oct 01st

Sibley officer faces alleged misconduct

A small group of concerned citizens, along with officials from the town of Sibley and Bossier-Webster District Attorney's office, gathered at Sibley Town Hall Tuesday evening to discuss possible investigations into the behavior of a local police officer.

Tuesday's workshop came on the heels of last week's Sibley town council meeting where representatives from the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) along with Sibley residents alleged misconduct by Police Officer Daniel Waites.

After a week to gather complaints, NAACP President the Rev. Kenneth Wallace presented several written complaints about Waites and informed Sibley Police Chief Jeremy Robinson he would be getting more.

"I am wondering what type of investigation will go forth into these allegations," Wallace told the group of gathered officials, which included Robinson, Sibley Mayor Jimmy Williams and District Attorney Schuyler Marvin.

Robinson said he would personally investigate each complaint separately and would do so for any other complaints that were brought to him.

The chief assured the citizens that he would conduct a thorough investigation that included reviewing all statements, video taken during traffic stops and interviewing Officer Waites.

"If he has done anything out of line then administrative action will be taken," Robinson said. "Whether that be leave without pay or him being asked to resign."

Wallace said this is not a matter of race but rather about an officer who is abusing his authority and making baseless traffic stops, harassing residents and projecting fear to the community.

"I have been a police officer," Wallace said. "I know that people will say they haven't done anything when they have, but when you continually hear the same stories about the same officer, there's something."

Town attorney Paul Kitchens presented numbers that indicate if there is a problem with Officer Waites it is indeed not one that is race based.

Kitchens said of the 361 tickets Waites has written since he was hired in October, 245 have been given to whites while 116 have gone to blacks, or 68 percent to 32 percent.

Both the chief and the mayor reaffirmed they will not tolerate any harassment of the citizenry and all complaints will be investigated.

Robinson said Waites underwent a thorough background check before he was hired and received quality recommendations.

"I expect our officers to be respectful while doing their job," he said.

Last Updated ( October 23, 2012 )  

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