Ex-Memphis Police officer will get diversion after pepper spray incident

Ex-Memphis Police officer will get diversion after pepper spray incident

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A former Memphis Police officer pleaded responsible to reckless endangerment with a lethal weapon and is sentenced to 1 12 months of diversion.

In January 2019, physique digicam footage captured police arresting Drew Thomas for allegedly vandalizing a retailer on Airways that he was banned from.

Thomas’ household instructed WREG Investigators that he had psychological points with dozens of arrests and emergency commitments.

That evening, MPD despatched Officer William Skelton to the scene as a result of he was educated to deal with folks with psychological well being points. He had additionally handled Thomas earlier.

Skelton put Thomas into handcuffs and into the squad automobile.

Skelton instructed Inside Affairs he sprayed pepper foam 4 occasions, restrained Thomas’ legs and shut the door. He additionally refused to crack a window for 5 minutes and 55 seconds, regardless of that being in opposition to division coverage.

The MPD Director on the time known as it unacceptable.

Skelton resigned earlier than the executive listening to, however MPD by no means referred the case to the DA’s workplace. When the incident made headlines, the previous DA Amy Weirich had a particular staff have a look at the case.

In November 2020, a grand jury indicted Skelton on an official oppression cost. Two years later, he entered a responsible plea on the lesser cost of reckless endangerment with a weapon.

Monday, he was sentenced, getting a 12 months of diversion. This implies if he stays out of bother and follows sure situations, he can get his cost expunged or wiped from his report.

Drew Thomas (left) and Officer Skelton

This isn’t the primary time this has occurred in terms of a former officer going through felony fees. One other former officer pleaded responsible to a lesser cost of statutory rape and may request the cost be expunged subsequent summer time.

A former Lieutenant pleaded responsible to official misconduct and bought the cost wiped final 12 months after finishing diversion. This additionally prevented the general public from accessing the state’s felony case file to see what proof was collected.

State regulation requires the general public to attend a 12 months earlier than accessing it, however up to now, the case was expunged earlier than the data could possibly be made obtainable.

WREG will preserve watch to see what occurs in Skelton’s case. His diversion is ready to finish a 12 months from now.

We reached out to the DA’s workplace for a remark and to study if the likelihood Skelton’s felony case file could possibly be stored secret.

DO YOU NEED A STORY INVESTIGATED? WREG Investigators wish to hear from you! Name our tip line at 901-543-2378. You can even ship an e-mail to newstips@wreg.com.

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