School system settles lawsuit - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

School system settles lawsuit

January 15, 2008

Albany - - The Dougherty County School Board will shell out 75-thousand dollars in your tax money to settle a lawsuit with a man who says he was wrongly arrested by a school security officer.

Back in 2003, school officer Kelly Crawford went off campus, technically out of his jurisdiction, to arrest David Peterson, Jr. on charges he abducted a teenager.

The officer brought Peterson back to school property and handed him over to an APD officer. Peterson spent 13 months in jail without bond.

He was acquitted and sued the school system. We asked board attorney Tommy Coleman if he felt the school officer did anything wrong.  

"That's up for the court to say. He was following the practice at the time under an agreement with the sheriff's department that the system felt gave our officers, which at that time I think were about five, jurisdiction county-wide but upon further investigation and with the facts of this, we concluded that probably was not something the system would want to rely on," Coleman replied.

The incident happened before the school system started its own police force.

Coleman says school officers now clearly understand their powers and limitations.

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