Haywood County, TN — A sheriff’s deputy was reportedly fired after he was charged with domestic assault. But this is not the first time he has had a run-in with the law over domestic assault allegations, and this is not the first department in the county that has fired him as a result.
Adrian Perkins was first arrested in September 2016, while working as a corporal at the Brownsville Police Department. The 29-year-old officer was charged with domestic assault with battery and was immediately placed on administrative leave with pay.
Perkins was released from custody the next morning on $2,500 bond. The Brownsville Police Department released a statement on the incident:
"As soon as Brownsville Police Department became aware of the allegations, Chief Barry Diebold immediately contacted District Attorney Garry Brown and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The Brownsville Police Department takes allegations of domestic violence in the community, especially among its officers, very seriously."
Perkins was eventually fired from the department, but that did not stop him from pursuing another job in law enforcement. While that is not uncommon for police officers who are fired, Perkins’ case is unique, because he did not leave the state, or even the city—he found another job in the same county.
The Haywood County Sheriff’s Department claims that Perkins has been employed as a sheriff’s deputy “for a few months,” but he was fired last week after he was arrested once again for domestic assault.
Perkins was arrested for the second time after police reviewed “video from a surveillance camera” outside the New Revelation Missionary Baptist Church in Brownsville, and determined that he was a suspect.
While police did not specify as to who the victim was, a family member told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News, “He is supposed to protect the citizens of Haywood County and he can’t even protect the people in his household.”
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Perkins pleaded guilty to the charge of domestic assault and will complete one year of supervised probation as a result. An anonymous family member of the victim told WBBJ 7 that the sentence is not nearly enough.
“He needs to be in jail for a long period of time, not probation, because he [does] not need to be in law enforcement at all, no kind of way,” the family member said.
In a statement, Brownsville Mayor Bill Rawls confirmed that this is the second time Perkins has been fired for domestic violence, but also said that because Perkins filed a grievance lawsuit against the city after the first termination, Rawls was not able to comment on it.
“Officer Perkins was a former Brownsville police department officer. He was terminated Sept. 27, 2016, for a domestic violence charge … It’s just not acceptable in our community. We’re all human beings, we all deserve to be treated with respect, whether we’re in our home or in the streets or in the police department or in the police car or wherever you are.”
As The Free Thought Project has reported, this is not the first time this has happened. In fact, it occurs so often that officers who are fired from one department and then go on to join another—despite existing charges that should interfere with their employment—are referred to as “Gypsy Cops.”
In one case, a police officer in Texas was responsible for three officer-involved shootings in two different departments, all in one year. Chase Welch was first suspended three times in two years for questionable cases that showed he was aggressive and displayed poor judgment. He then shot and killed two men in two separate incidents, and after leaving the department, he went to work as a sheriff’s deputy where he shot a man during his second day on the job.
In another case, a police officer in Ohio got his job back after he participated in the execution of an unarmed couple over a traffic violation. And in yet another case, a police officer in Florida killed a pedestrian with his squad car, punched a child, and spat on a mentally ill man—all in a 3-month time period—and he still has a job as a police officer.
While Adrian Perkins was fired from the Haywood County Sheriff’s Department, it remains to be seen whether the multiple domestic violence charges on his record, along with the extremely light sentence, will stop him from continuing to be a textbook “Gypsy Cop” and going on to work at another police department.