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Five KCSO Officers Demoted after Traffic Stop Investigation

Friday, 28 October 2011

Knox County Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones demoted five Knox County Sheriff’s Patrol Officers and stripped them of their law enforcement powers after an investigation revealed that the officers violated departmental policies and procedures during a traffic stop.  The incident occurred October 16, 2011 at 12:56 a.m. when Deputy Brian Rehg pulled over a car driven by a 19 year old male (who has requested his name not be released) on Emory Road.   Other officers arrived on the scene.

According to the investigation, the officers’ actions were unauthorized and not approved.  A complaint was made to the Office of Professional Standards and was taken by Lieutenant Heather Gilbert.  When it was determined that one of the deputies was Brad Cox, whose father is Captain Tom Cox, who oversees the Office of Professional Standards, the complaint was then forwarded to Lieutenant Mark Webber of the Major Crimes Unit to investigate.

Videos from in- car cameras were examined and have been provided to various media outlets.  Investigators said the videos did not provide any additional information since the officers admitted their involvement from the initial investigation.

The five deputies are:

36 year old Jason Acuff, who was hired in 2006 and had been on patrol since 2009.  According to his personnel file he has several commendations and was Corrections Officer of the Month in October, 2006.

38 year old Jeff Bryant was hired in 1999 and went on patrol in 2008.

31 year old Brad Cox was hired in 2002 and went to patrol in 2004.  According to his personnel file, he received a one day suspension without pay in December 2009 for a car crash he was involved in.  He was given a written reprimand for turning off his body microphone in April 2008 following a car crash and arrest.  He received another one day suspension without pay for making an inappropriate remark to an officer in November 2002.

34 year old Brian Rehg was hired in 2003 and went to patrol in 2006. 

40 year old Alex Slate was hired in 1997 and went to patrol in 2002.  He was also a K-9 Officer and had several commendation letters in his personnel file.

“This is an embarrassing incident to the Sheriff’s Office and certainly is not indicative of the men and women who work hard and are very professional,” said Sheriff Jones.  “I am releasing this information before any media inquiries because I think it’s important for us to be open and honest.”

The following is the letter sent by Sheriff Jones to each of the deputies:

“An investigation into your notoriously disgraceful personal conduct regarding a traffic stop on October 16, 2011 has been completed.  Your personal conduct during this traffic stop was found to unprofessional, inexcusable, unauthorized and intolerable as a Law Enforcement officer with this office.  Your actions and those of your fellow officers on improvising your own set of punishment for a relatively minor traffic law violation as you are well aware, violated departmental policies and procedures.  The action displayed during this traffic stop not only brings discredit upon you and this agency, but that of Law Enforcement in general.  Your incompetent, inefficient and negligent decision to ignore your training, Departmental Policies and Procedures and all around good sense entrusted in you as an officer is absolutely inexcusable and will not be condoned.

Based on your decision to directly violate Departmental Policy and Procedures, as well as violating Merit Council Rules: 9.3a: Failure to meet performance requirements, 9.3d: Incompetence, inefficient and negligence in the performance of duty, and 9.3g: Notoriously disgraceful personal conduct, I have made the decision to strip you of your Law Enforcement powers and demote you from the position of Patrol Officer to a Correction Officer effective immediately.”

Jason Acuff Jeff Bryant Brad Cox Brian Rehg Alex Slate



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