|Missouri Sheriff Jim Arnott|
Those are two of many questions raised by the Greene County Sheriff's Office Policy and Procedure Manual, which spells out a lengthy and detailed set of steps that must be completed to determine if a deputy involved in a "critical incident" acted reasonably and is fit to return to duty.
The manual calls for parallel criminal and administrative investigations to be conducted of any "critical incident" (use of force, involving any sheriff's department employee, resulting in serious bodily injury or death to any person.) Policy calls for a thorough examination of an involved officer's physical and emotional status. Consider the following required step (see page 113 of manual):
Involved Deputy will remain close to the scene with their Support Deputy until the Administrative Investigator directs them to the hospital for the required exams.
This also is from page 113:
Involved Deputies shall receive a mandated counseling from a GCSO appointed mental health professional. Additional counseling may be provided by the Sheriff or his designee.
According to the manual, any critical incident should produce a significant paper trail. Here are some of the required steps in the administrative process (see pages 110-119 of manual):
* Involved Deputies shall provide a brief Public Safety statement about the actions of the suspect(s) that shall aid investigators in the criminal prosecution of suspect(s);
* Involved Deputies will write an incident report to aid investigators in the criminal prosecution of the suspect(s). This incident report will be completed at a time mandated by the Involved Deputy’s Division Command, usually after two full sleep cycles;
* Involved Deputies will prepare a Subject Resistance and Control Report;
* Involved Deputies will be required to give a statement to the Administrative Investigator;
* Involved Deputies will submit to any/or all of the following: blood, urine, breath or other chemical test as requested by the Administrative Investigator;
* Involved Deputies shall submit to a polygraph examination if requested by the Administrative Investigator;
* Prior to returning to duty the Involved Deputy will be required to take a Fit for Duty Exam at the expense of the employer;
* The Criminal Investigator shall ensure the scene is properly documented, photographed and diagrammed;
* The Criminal Investigator shall ensure that all evidence is properly processed and collected, including any equipment or weapon belonging to the Involved Deputy that is needed as part of the investigation;
* The Criminal Investigator shall ensure interviews of witnesses, victims, Involved Deputy(s), and when applicable suspect(s), including providing Miranda warnings, even to the Involved Deputy.
By our unofficial count, that's at least 10 documents, statements, or objects (or groups of objects) that should be gathered in the investigation. But the Criminal Investigator's duties still are not completed. (And that does not include duties of the Administrative Investigator, which are spelled out on page 117.) As for the Criminal Investigator, the manual states that he . . .
* Shall review and ensure all involved/responding deputy(s) reports are accurate, correct and approved;
* Shall provide any and all material to the Administrative Investigator from the criminal investigation and will not expose themselves to the statements and evidence obtained during the administrative investigation;
* Shall assemble and prepare a case file for CID Supervisor, Major(s), and Sheriff’s review and approval;
* Upon the appropriate internal review and approval, shall contact and provide the Greene County Prosecutor a copy of the case file, with original probable cause statements where applicable.
|Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson|
It appears the county prosecutor receives a copy for purposes of bringing charges against the suspect (in this case, Carol). But the sheriff's own actions--releasing her from jail, upon learning she had a serious bodily injury; giving no indication since then that she committed any offense--suggest the county prosecutor has no role involving Carol.
But what about the officer's brutality against Carol? What about Arnott's decision to falsely claim she had assaulted an officer, causing her wrongful arrest and imprisonment? Those generally are considered civil-rights issues to be handled by federal law-enforcement.
Has the county prosecutor, a fellow named Dan Patterson, referred the matter for possible federal prosecutions against the deputy and Arnott? That appears to be what the facts and the law call for. Do facts and the law mean anything in Springfield, Missouri -- any more than they do in Birmingham, Alabama?