An entire police department in North Carolina was put on leave after the arrest of the department’s chief and lieutenant, according to WECT.
The Southport Police Department’s police chief and lieutenant were arrested Thursday for allegedly moonlighting as truck drivers while officially on the clock at the police department.
All police operations in the city were suspended after the arrests, and the whole police force is out on paid administrative leave.
SPD Chief Gary Smith, 46, and Lt. Michael Christian Simmons, 48, face charges of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretenses, willful failure to discharge duties and obstruction of justice.
Smith and Simmons are accused of driving overnight shifts for a trucking company while on the clock at the Southport Police Department. The name of the trucking company has not been released.
The allegations state that the trucking jobs took to the two high-ranking officers out of the city and county while they were supposed to be on patrol in Southport.
Smith was arrested Thursday morning and placed under a $10,000 unsecured bond. He posted bail and was released, WECT reports.
Simmons was arrested during a Thursday afternoon news conference regarding the investigation.
“It is indeed that I get before you today with a heart laden with grief for all these events that happened today,” said Southport Mayor Jerry Dove, according to WECT. “It was a shock to me to hear all these, being a former chief and knowing the officers that worked in that department and hired at least half of them.”
The mayor and city’s board of alderman request the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office to lead law enforcement in Southport until further notice.
In other police news, a viral cellphone video of an “unarmed black woman’s” arrest prompted public outrage and allegations of excessive force, but the Los Angeles Police Department has now released the details of the incident(video below).
Amber Neal, 25, was one of three people involved in the kidnapping of two Hollywood actors – one of whom was stripped naked, maimed, and deprived of food for 30 hours, the New York Daily News reported.
“Although we are limited in what info we can release, we can confirm this individual was arrested on a felony kidnapping warrant & taken into custody without a use-of-force,” the LAPD tweeted on Monday. “She is being held on 1 million dollars bail.”
A bystander said that he recorded Neal’s Monday arrest as he sat inside a Starbucks on La Cienega and Centinela, according to a series of tweets.
“So this happened today in Inglewood,” the bystander captioned in the video tweet. “The police stopped the woman and drew guns on her even though (clear as day) she had nothing in her hands.”
The footage had been viewed nearly three million times as of Wednesday morning.
“I noticed the cops pull over the woman,” the bystander wrote. “Within seconds, what seemed like the whole police department show up, they began to draw their guns yelling orders at the woman.”
In the video, Neal was seen exiting a vehicle with her hands raised.
She appeared to be complying with commands being given from the officers who stood a distance behind her with their weapons drawn.
“Wow,” the video commentator said with a tone of disgust. “She looks like the most unharmful person. Look at her! She’s scared for her life!”
“That is unnecessary,” the commentator declared. “Really? We got…five guns pointed at this woman. At this unarmed, black woman.”
“You clearly see that she had nothing in her f – – – – – g hands,” the commentator railed. “Nah, f – – k that. F – – k the police.”
Neal ultimately lowered herself onto the ground and was subsequently taken into custody.
On Tuesday, the LAPD confirmed in a tweet that the woman was one of three people charged “with kidnapping an actress and an actor and holding the male victim for ransom.”
UPDATE: @LADAOffice announces three people, including the female seen in this video, have been charged with kidnapping an actress and an actor and holding the male victim for ransom https://t.co/eRo0OgoHMS
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) July 3, 2018
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
July 27th, 2018