Police Officer Transferred Out Of K9 Unit After Excessive Force

Friday, October 28, 2005

A Chattanooga Police officer has been transferred out of the K9 unit after complaints of excessive force, Channel 9 reported.

Deputy Chief Skip Vaughn, following an Internal Affairs probe, had recommended that Officer John Watkins be terminated. However, Chief Steve Parks overrode the recommendation.

He gave Officer Watkins a 28-day suspension and moved him out of the K9 unit. He is on a one-year probation.

Channel 9 earlier showed video of the officer pursuing a man who wrecked a stolen car, then started running. Officer Watkins turned his K9 on the man, and he suffered a severe attack by the dog. Hospital personnel said he almost lost an ear.

Kenneth Stone was charged with evading and resisting arrest and reckless driving.

Chief Parks told Channel 9, “There was not sufficient proof to show that his actions were excessive. I think what he did was reasonable, basically, to what was going on around him. I felt like that he had made some poor decisions in that case, and I felt like maybe that wasn't the best place for him, that he has talents that we can obviously use in this department.”


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