DeKalb County Sheriff Arrested for Indecency and Obstruction

On May 6, DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann was arrested in Georgia for indecency and obstruction. You can read more about the arrest at this link: http://www.mdjonline.com/neighbor_newspapers/details-emerge-from-police-report-on-dekalb-sheriff-s-arrest/article_28feff06-33f7-11e7-b8e2-6bba06e88f2f.html

You can read the police report at the same link. Overall it is an excellent report – thorough and objective.

I have a few recommendations:

  •  The officer used “told” and “stated” in the report – but much of the time“advised” keeps appearing in the report…and in one sentence, that ugly “advised” causes a potential problem:

I advised the male to get on the ground and to put his hands behind his back while on the ground.

Notice that the officer seems to be counseling or suggesting that the man lie on the ground. That sentence could cause a problem in a court hearing, with a defense attorney arguing that the officer didn’t really tell a suspect what to do.

The report should say “I TOLD the man to get on the ground….” or “I ORDERED the man to get on the ground.”

  • I was pleased to read this sentence:

“He then started to walk towards me at some point.”

But sometimes the report is wordy. The officer kept writing “the male,” “the male,” “the male,” “the male,” and so on. There’s nothing wrong with the words he and him!

  • The report mentions “following my verbal commands.” The word needed here is oral. Verbal means “using words” and can also refer to writing.
  • Overall the sentences are strong and concise. But there’s one section that could have been more efficient:

The male told me to call my supervisor, Major Peek. I advised the male that Major Peek was not my supervisor. I then asked if he would like to speak to a supervisor. The male stated “Yes”. I then advised the dispatcher of the male’s request.

Here’s a recommended rewrite:

The male told me to call my supervisor, Major Peek. I said Major Peek was not my supervisor. I asked if he would like to speak to a supervisor. The male said “Yes,” and I told the dispatcher about the request.

And here’s an even shorter version. (Some agencies require a great deal of detail in police reports; other agencies want efficient reports with only essential facts.)

The male said he would like to speak to a supervisor. I told the dispatcher about the request.

Overall, though, this is a professional and effective report.

 

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