published Tuesday, December 6th, 2011, updated Dec. 6th, 2011 at 2:43 p.m.

Transcript: Cleveland chief knew of drug, sex allegations

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    Cleveland, Tenn., police chief Wes Snyder speaks to members of the media during a news conference Wednesday. Chief Snyder called a story written by Chattanooga Times Free Press reporter Todd South "grossly inaccurate."
    Photo by Patrick Smith.
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Duff L. Brumley v. The City of Cleveland
Duff L. Brumley v. The City of Cleveland

A transcript of court testimony in a lawsuit against the Cleveland Police Department released today supports the Times Free Press’ account of the hearing and refutes the Cleveland police chief’s characterization of the reporting as “grossly inaccurate” and “totally irresponsible.”

Assistant Police Chief Gary Hicks testified Nov. 17 in a lawsuit brought by former detective Duff Brumley, who was fired in 2010.

As part of his testimony, Hicks said he had reported allegations to Chief Wes Snyder involving, among other things, officers snorting crushed hydrocodone pills and having relationships with underage girls.

Times Free Press reporter Todd South covered the hearing and spent a week investigating the claims, including asking Snyder four times for comment on the testimony. South published the story Nov. 29 without Snyder’s comment. On Dec. 1, Snyder called a news conference where he read a statement attacking South’s report and accusing him of having a “personal agenda.”

Snyder said South’s report “that I had knowledge of drug and sexual abuse by members of this department prior to my internal affairs investigation." "This is completely false.”

However, the transcript shows the opposite.

Here is the Q&A between Assistant Chief Gary Hicks and Gerald Tidwell, Brumley’s attorney:

A: There was a period of time there that I was receiving information we had some guys doing some stuff they shouldn’t do. There was no proof. I went to Chief Snyder and told him what I was hearing and then it led to he told me to have a meeting with all the, the four officers and all their supervisors and told me to get their attention.

Q: What were they allegedly doing?

A: I can’t remember everything. One of them was — had allegedly — was in a pursuit — the Polk County Sheriff’s Department was pursuing one of our officers on a motorcycle, and then he was bragging about that, getting away with it. You had some indications that some were fooling with juveniles and you had another one that was kind of indicating that they were messing with pills, hydrocodone and stuff, snorting them.

Q: Snorting them?

A: Yeah.

Q: When you say messing with juveniles, are you talking about messing with female, female juveniles on male officers’ parts?

A: Yes.

Q: And so Chief Snyder had you instruct these guys not to do it anymore if they were?

A He told me to get their attention, and I called them all into the training center. And we have something that we say at the Cleveland Police Department on all of our, our discipline, you know: If you continue this behavior your job is in jeopardy. I wrote that on the board and I just kind of — I never called no names or nothing. I just told them what I was hearing, that we were hearing this and it’s very disturbing. And no one said nothing and everybody left.

See complete coverage in Wednesday's Times Free Press.

about Judy Walton...

Judy Walton has worked 25 years at the Chattanooga Times and the Times Free Press as an editor and reporter focusing on government coverage and investigations. At various times she has been an assistant metro editor, region reporter and editor, county government reporter, government-beat team leader, features editor and page designer. Originally from California, Walton was brought up in a military family and attended a dozen schools across the country. She earned a journalism degree ...

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kaicho said...

XGSBoss is there funding to back the campaign of such a person?

December 6, 2011 at 2:30 p.m.
Abe said...

You don't mean "refute," but "rebut." To refute is to prove untrue, and you can't say that, not in a news story. Leave that to the editorial writers.

December 6, 2011 at 3:39 p.m.
XGSBoss said...

Hey Rolando and all authors of mysteriously deleted comments, hide yo kids, hide yo wife, they censoring e'rebody up in here. I'm not so stupid to cry "freedom of the press or freedom of speech" on a privately owned website, but I would like a smidge of clarification on comment policies. Oh well, time to find a site tolerant of opinion.

December 6, 2011 at 4:36 p.m.
lookinfour said...

Thank you TFP for keeping up with this story. Law enforcement claim that they are and should be held to a higher standard. These transcripts only prove that they are held to a different standard. It is criminal for them not to investigate felony crimes their officers were accused of committing. Sad police leadership in Cleveland.

December 6, 2011 at 5:16 p.m.
nowfedup said...

TFP, watch out as TN/GA Good ole boys(and girls) Inc is not used to honest papers.

December 6, 2011 at 9:48 p.m.
dt4c said...

I hope Snyder is forced to resign or fired. Mayor Rowland knows what he is doing and will know if Snyder is lying...which appears to be the case. If that is indeed proven Snyder should be fired immediately or the CPD loses all credibility. Leadership in the CPD from the top down has been severely lacking for years. Hopefully this will put an end to this regime and allow the CPD to regain the respect it deserves.

December 6, 2011 at 10:54 p.m.
lookinfour said...

That's one hell of a way to deal with allegations that officers were committing crimes. Write the felony (not misdemeanor)crimes on a dry erase board. Call the officers into the room. Point at the board and don't say anything. Class dismissed. Issue resolved. How do they ever get convictions up there if this is how the top leaders think? I believe Chief Snyder and Hicks both may have committed crimes by having information and not doing anything about underage girls having sex with adult cops.

December 6, 2011 at 11:05 p.m.
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