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Dawson cop fired

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May 12, 2003

Dawson-- A policeman under investigation for bad behavior, is fired.

City leaders say several questionable events led to his termination. Dawson police officer Carl Epperson was in trouble for an arrest April 3rd. While on duty, Epperson followed a man to his home, broke down his front door, and maced him. Epperson said the man resisted arrest-- but a group of concerned citizens asked for an investigation.

Now, he has been fired, but for another reason.

The door at Anthony Williams' home has been repaired, but the 24-year-old says he will never forget when Dawson Police Officer Carl Epperson followed him home April 3rd. "He knocked one time and kicked the door in. He drew a gun to my face, he maced me, he maced me and threw me to the door and choked me."

"He was spraying him with mace, mace all up in the eyes. We were coughing real bad, mace was all over the house." Bisceglia Williams was inside the house on 10th street and watched her boyfriend get handcuffed and arrested for reckless driving and felony obstruction of an officer. But, she says it was the officer that was being reckless, "He's done stuff like that before to other people."

City Attorney Tommy Coleman says, "There had been several incidents that the city manager felt were handled inappropriately and poorly."

Officer Carl Epperson was on suspension for that incident. And he, along with the entire police department, were under investigation. But the decision to actually fire him was not made until police were called to this Huddle House on May 2nd. Epperson got into an argument here with his estranged wife and hit her.

City Attorney Tommy Coleman says that was enough.  "The city manager thought it was in the best interest of the city to terminate this relationship."

Carl Epperson's termination from the Dawson P.D. is effective May 17th. Anthony Williams says that is good news, "I haven't seen none of the police around here like him, that try to hurt peoples. He should have been gone in the first place. We don't need no cop around here trying to be no hero." 

Epperson was given a chance to appeal his termination, but choose not to do so. The Dawson City Council is spear-heading a broad investigation into the police department, stemming from that April 3rd arrest.

But, City Attorney Tommy Coleman says it's an opportunity to make sure the police department is running effectively, both from the administrative and law enforcement sides.

Posted at 4:16 p.m. by melissakill@walb.com