police chief dean mckimm, a black eye, and the “rogue officer”

While watching the press conference of law enforcement agents announcing that missing mom Jessie Davis’ body had been found and that officer Bobby Cutts, Jr. had been taken into custody, I was troubled by the tone of the statements made by Canton police chief Dean McKimm.  Instead of providing details specifically related to the investigation, McKimm went off into a 4-5 minute speech which seemed to be aimed at heading off future criticism of his police department.

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Most troubling was his statement that he hopes “people of this community and those across the nation not be so quick to judge and law enforcement agency by the isolated acts of a ‘rogue officer'”.  McKimm also reflected that he worried that the Bobby Cutts situation “has resulted in giving our department a ‘black eye’ in the opinion of the local community”.  After looking back at some of the past happenings in the police department under Dean McKimm, Bobby Cutts, Jr. is not the only reason the Canton police department would have a “black eye” in the community.

McKimm has come under fire earlier for perceptions that “rogue officers” are treated lightly in his department, and Bobby Cutts, Jr. was one of several who’ve been reinstated after being accused of wrongdoing.  McKimm’s statements at the nationally-televised press conference suggests to me that his past problems with his department’s tainted image could have very well played a part in the decision to arrest Bobby Cutts, Jr. and call him a “rogue officer” while still asking for tips into the apparent murder.

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In the past, his department faced protests after causing the death of an unarmed man (pictured on the t-shirts of the protesters) who was Tasered, beaten, and later died at the hospital.  McKimm’s police department has also been accused (and subsequently cleared) of meting out harsher punishment to its Black police officers.

I think McKimm’s preoccupation with dealing with “rogue officers” could possibly come back to haunt him as the Bobby Cutts, Jr. trial gets under way, and I’m sure defense attorneys will probably revisit his press conference statements when the decision to immediately place Cutts under arrest comes under scrutiny.

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~ by free71 on June 24, 2007.

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