FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – Police departments strive to earn the trust of those they are sworn to serve and protect.
But public confidence in a police force can waver when the actions of officers come into question.
Four Fort Wayne police officers have faced disciplinary action recently, including one who is now off the force for getting physical with a suspect.
We sought a one on one interview with city police chief Steve Reed, to discuss some conduct issues that surfaced.
28-year old Charles Smith resigned from Fort Wayne PD, after a county jail video recording showed he punched a DUI arrest suspect three times in a scuffle as Smith tried to place handcuffs on the man.
“There was some resistive behavior but not to the level that would have been equal to the force that was used,” Chief Reed said.
We asked the chief what word he would use to describe his feelings about Officer Smith’s conduct.
“Extremely disappointed. Extremely disappointed, and we took swift action,” he said.
At the June 6th Board of Safety meeting, punishment was announced for three other officers, including, Reed says, 10 days suspension doled out for Shane Carrier who used unreasonable force against, and made inappropriate remarks to, a suspect during arrest.
Reed says 24-year veteran SWAT team officer Kerry Haywood got three days suspension, for unintentionally firing his weapon during a training exercise, injuring himself and another officer when the bullet ricocheted and struck him too.
Reed insists there was no horseplay going on.
“Officer Haywood is an excellent officer, sometimes mistakes happen,” he said.
A suspension was also ordered for Sgt. Brian Burton, who got in trouble for making disparaging remarks regarding a fellow police officer.