Sheriff releases statement regarding internal investigation of video

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Independence County Sheriff Shawn Stephens released a statement Friday morning regarding the conclusion of an internal investigation into an incident captured on video earlier this week involving a sheriff’s deputy. (For more on this story, click here.)

The statement from the sheriff’s department reads:

“The Independence County Sheriff’s Department has issued disciplinary actions, which stemmed from an internal investigation, involving a complaint received on Monday, June 22, 2020. The deputy involved has been suspended without pay and required to complete additional training. The training is directed towards individuals with disabilities and cognitive behavior. No findings of a criminal act were found; however, policy violations supported the disciplinary actions. Disciplinary actions were issued in accordance with the Independence County Employee Handbook.”

Stephens told White River Now’s Gary Bridgman the deputy’s suspension without pay will be for a week. The deputy is completing the online training during his suspension, and then he will continue with in-person training, as well.

UPDATE, July 26, 2020: The sheriff also told Bridgman that in addition to the video taken by the person at the residence, the deputy’s body-cam footage of the incident was also reviewed as part of the investigation.

White River Now News Team

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