A dash cam video turned over by Arkansas State Police to the Garland County Sheriff’s Department has been made available to the public, and the sheriff is reacting to four deputies in a month’s time facing disciplinary issues.
Deputies Scott West and Greg Kellar were suspended over the past week, following an investigation into the officers’ use of force. Both deputies have been suspended for failing to follow department policy. According to Sheriff Larry Sanders, any officers that cross the line can expect the same.
The video was turned over to the Sheriff’s Department by Arkansas State Police on June 13, 2013. It depicts a traffic stop, a week earlier, of two trespassing suspects that turned aggressive for Deputy Clayton Green.
According to Green’s account, Jordan and Jerry Hoover were drunk and disorderly. Jordan Hoover, accused of pushing the officer back so that he landed on his knees.
As the State Trooper arrived, Green was walking up to Hoover and hit him several times with a baton. Trooper Crook runs into assist, demanding Hoover get on the ground.
Hoover repeatedly states, “I haven’t done anything.”
“What we’re looking at is it was a force issue — that was brought to our attention,” said Sheriff Larry Sanders of the tape.
The issue of use of force is brought up when Sgt. Scott West arrived on scene as back up. Hoover was on the ground, but you can hear him yelling obscenities at police.
At one point, he rolls over, still shouting. West approaches him in the video and slaps him in the face with an open hand.
“The officer said he was about to spit on him and he responded to that and, like I say, it didn’t follow department guidelines,” said Sheriff Sanders.
West was never mentioned in Green’s arrest affidavit, nor was the slap accounted for in his series of events. Green reported that he had used the baton on Hoover, had identified Cpl. Greg Kellar as aiding in putting a suspect in the vehicle, and had identified the state trooper that came to help.
Cpl. Greg Kellar’s suspension stemmed from his involvement with Jordan Hoover once he arrived in booking at the Garland County jail.
Kellar had assisted in transporting the suspects, and according to investigators’ accounts, Jordan Hoover headbutted the booking officer and was thrown to the ground.
We couldn’t see the headbutt in video, and the Sheriff’s Department clarified that it happened as the two men entered the room, outside of the camera’s full view.
Kellar, according to investigators and the video, pulled out his taser and proceeded to step on top of Hoover’s back and apply pressure. Minutes later, Kellar then moved his foot to Hoover’s neck.
Sgt. West received two weeks suspension without pay, and Cpl. Kellar received one month suspension without pay.
Their suspensions make four Sheriff’s Office employees involved in disciplinary or legal issues in the past month.
According to Sheriff Sanders, he’s upset that the department has been cast in a negative light because of it.
“It hurts — they represent me they represent this county. They represent law enforcement. Any time at any agency there’s misconduct it affects all officers, and I don’t like that..”
Responding to concerns voiced by citizens of an ongoing problem with discipline at the department, Sheriff Sanders said there isn’t one.
“In any agency there are things that are going to happen there are going to be complaints filed, I hope the public can see we take it serious,” he said. “The message I would like is that people can see action is taken place. Bad behavior is not going to be tolerated and they need to remember the other 140 officers risking their lives.”
According to the Sheriff Sanders, the suspended officers will undergo additional training in the department, and other officers may be included in that as well. He also encouraged the public to report instances where they felt like officers stepped over the line.
“If people are not willing to get involved and bring the evidence we need it’s hard to take action on that,” he said. “If there’s evidence an officer should be on suspension then that is taken place.”
“I hope that anybody that knows me and my administration — we don’t tolerate such behavior. If we have any officers that were stepping over the line and doing something they shouldn’t be doing I want people to come forward. We won’t take retaliation on it.,” Sheriff Sanders said.
(Garland County Sheriff’s Department Statement)
Internal Investigation Summary of Complaint
Officers: Sgt Scott West and Cpl Gregg Kellar
Date of Offense: 06-06-2013
Offense: Unprofessional Conduct
On 06-13-2013 the Garland County Sheriff’s Office was made aware of a dash cam video
of Trooper Darren Crook, of an incident involving our deputies.
Captain Lacey and I (Lt Roberson) reviewed the video on 06-14-2013. No complaint
was filed by either of the Hoovers but an Internal Affairs Investigation was
Lt Roberson and Sgt Joel Ware were assigned the Investigation.
The incident was in reference to a call of Trespassing at 1897 Mtn Pine Rd, the Hanson
residence. Deputy Clayton Green responded and learned that two white males possibly
intoxicated in a green truck had become verbally threatening towards the complainants.
Suspects left and returned and the older suspect got of vehicle and began beating on
victim’s door and yelling. Suspects were gone on deputy Greens arrival.
Trooper Crook responded from his home on east side of county to back Deputy Green.
Deputy Green asked him to check the Thornton Ferry area for the suspect vehicle.
A short time later the suspect vehicle came back by the victim’s residence and the
complainants pointed the vehicle out saying that was the actors.
Deputy Green pursued and made a stop at the New Salem Church on Mtn Pine Highway.
The actors became disorderly and Green needed assistance in which Trooper Crook
responded. Deputy Green was able to get the passenger in custody Jerry Hoover but was
having a difficult time with the second subject Jordan Hoover the driver.
When Trooper Crook arrived on scene Deputy Green was being knocked to the ground
by Jordan Hoover. After some struggle Deputy Green and Trooper Crook were able to
handcuff and restrain the actor Jordon Hoover.
Jerry Hoover was yelling and kicking the doors and windows of Deputy Green’s unit.
Trooper Crook went and opened the door to tell Jerry Hoover to calm down and stop
kicking the doors and then went back to assist Green.
Sgt West and Cpl Kellar responded to the scene to assist and arrived after Jordon Hoover
was handcuffed and laying on the ground being restrained by Deputy Green. The other
subject Jerry Hoover whom was in back of Greens unit was still yelling and kicking at the
door and window of Deputy Green’s unit.
Kellar and West both went to Green’s unit together after arriving on scene in attempt to
calm Jerry Hoover down. They decided to pull him from the unit in order to further
restrain him to prevent him from kicking. Jerry Hoover resisted and would not come out
of the unit and after a few tries grabbing for him, Sgt West and Cpl Kellar were able to
The conduct in question with Sgt West was when he went back to the subject Jordon
Hoover who was lying handcuffed on his stomach on the ground. Sgt West rolled him
over partway and was seen slapping the suspect. Sgt West when asked why he slapped
said it was because the subject was fixing to spit on him.
Sgt West does not deny the incident and said he never meant the Jordon Hoover any
harm. He stated it was never any intention to brutalize or hurt the subject. He said he did
not think about his actions and was just trying to get him to stop what he was doing.
The conduct in question with Cpl Kellar happened when the subject Jordan Hoover was
laying on the ground handcuffed, his feet were shackled and Cpl Kellar was holding the
foot shackles when the subject nearly pulled him to the ground. Cpl Kellar appears to
punch the subject in the hip or side at that time. Another issue happened after the subjects
had been transported to the booking room at the Garland County Sheriff’s Office
Jerry Hoover was already there and being fairly compliant. Green arrived with Jordon
Hoover whom upon entering the booking room became disorderly and head butted
Deputy Lane the booking deputy, who struggled with him. Lane and Cpl Dorris took him
the floor mat in order to better control him. Deputy Lane got a black eye from the subject
head butting him.
At this point Cpl Kellar assisted by pulling his Taser and telling the subject to comply or
he could be tased. Cpl Kellar then holsters the Taser and places a foot in the back of the
subject. Cpl Kellar shifted his weight and moved his foot to the neck of the subject and
continued holding subject down.
Cpl Kellar said he did pull his Taser in attempt to gain compliance and that he did place
his foot on the subject just to let him know he was there. Cpl Kellar said he did not kick
him or try to hurt or antagonize him in the process.
During the review of the incident at the scene of the arrest, Jerry Hoover after being taken
out of unit to be further restrained told Trooper Crook that someone hit him five times in
the face in back of unit. After all interviews and reviewing all the evidence on hand, there
is nothing to support the accusation made by Jerry Hoover.
There were no injuries to either subject as a result of deputies’ actions.
Hot Springs Daily decided to provide the full length video of the alleged “use of force” by Officer West and Officer Kellar. The video lasts approximately 30 minutes.
(Disclaimer) This video may contain profanity or scenes not suitable for everyone.
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