Dawson Police under investigation - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Dawson Police under investigation

April 14, 2003

Dawson-- The Dawson Police Department is under investigation. The City Commission is calling for the investigation after hearing complaints from people about the way a recent arrest was handled.

Charlie Thomas is looking over some splintered wood that was once part of his front door, "This here is the side and face. The front door was kicked in, when he came in him and my son where tussling."

On Thursday April 3rd, Dawson Police Officer Carl Epperson noticed 24-year-old Anthony Williams driving recklessly. Epperson pursued Williams to this home on 10th Avenue. Williams got out of his car and started to walk to his front door. Epperson told him to stop. Williams broke into a run.

What happened next sparked the investigation. After repeatedly asking Williams to open the front door, the police officer kicked the door down. Williams resisted arrest, and was eventually sprayed and handcuffed.

William's step father doesn't think that is right, "If you have a traffic violation, you deal with in the streets not in the home. You don't have a right to break down the door just because of a minor traffic violation."

"That wasn't only thing, a number of things people concerned about it and council concerned about it as well." Dawson City Attorney Tommy Coleman thinks the investigation will help quell concerns the community has about the police department, "I'm certain the council is not interested in a witch hunt, the community is not interested in a witch hunt, but they are interested in improving the quality of law enforcement in the community like all communities are."

Just how long, or involved, this investigation will be is not known.

City Attorney Coleman and City Manager Barney Pernicott are developing a strategy to review the department. Coleman says it could involve bringing in an outside consultant to help, but no decisions have been made.

Posted at 5:38 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com

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