"You definitely have a dangerous circumstance where you've got a guy driving under the influence who is on duty, armed and handling a gun, and you're going to give him a pass?"
A police officer in Red Bank, Tennessee showed up at a local firing range drunk last week.
The officer was so noticeably intoxicated that he was actually pulled aside by other police department employees and given a blood-alcohol test.
Detective Doug Millsaps blew a 0.114 and a 0.124 on the police department's breathalyzer after attempting to participate in a firearm training drill, according to police Chief Tim Christol.
Initially, Millsaps was suspended with pay, pending an investigation, but just days later, the investigation was closed and he was forced to resign.
Millsaps will not face any charges for driving while intoxicated, or using a firearm while intoxicated on government property.
According to a report released by Christol, police department employees noticed a heavy odor of alcohol on Millsaps' breath about a half-hour or so after the training had started. When he was given a breathalyzer test, Millsaps blew twice the legal limit, and was immediately taken to the nearest police station.
However, when Millsaps arrived at the station for booking, he was given some special treatment. The arresting officers allowed the report to be filed without any of Millsaps information, which guaranteed that official charges would never be filed.
Police Sgt. Dan Seymour allegedly failed to put Millsaps' name into the computer system and instead typed "D, DD" as the name of the suspect.
When asked why the booking process was so careless, Christol claimed to be entirely ignorant of the circumstances surrounding that aspect of the arrest.
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"I do not know why Dan did not put his name on there, I did not administer the test," he told reporters.
While multiple witnesses reported seeing Millsaps firing his weapon at the shooting range, Police Chief Christol denies their testimony.
"The first hour-and-a-half to two hours is dry firing, there is no live ammunition. It is repetition of skills, drawing, moving, the basic skills to reinforce muscle memory. He never fired the first round," Christol said in his report.
Christol has continued to maintain this position, and since the incident has told reporters that Millsap's gun wasn't even loaded when they realized that he was drunk. Additionally, Christol says that since no one actually saw Millsaps arrive to the shooting range in his car, they can't actually charge him with drunk driving.
"To be able to develop reasonable suspicion for a criminal charge, the officers have to observe some indicators that would lead a reasonable person to believe this person may have been drinking prior to or while driving......This was a case where he was already at work and no one observed his driving to indicate anything like that," Christol said.
In an interview with Red Bank reporters, Robin Flores, a local attorney with a history in law enforcement, expressed his disappointment with how the case was handled.
"You definitely have a dangerous circumstance where you've got a guy driving under the influence who is on duty, armed and handling a gun, and you're going to give him a pass? That kind of conduct shows that the department and city is more concerned about covering for their cops than protecting the public," Flores said.
Many other Red Bank residents are upset that the former officer will not be charged for crimes that the average person would face serious penalties for. In the state of Tennessee, merely possessing a firearm while under the influence of drugs or alcohol carries very steep penalties.
John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he is also the owner of a successful music promotion company. In 2013, he became one of the organizers of the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.