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VIDEO: Brooklet Police Chief Tosses Citizen Filing Complaint from City Hall

A Leefield woman is trying to get her story out after she had a run in with the Brooklet Police Department on Tuesday.

Cindy Lee was pulled over for a traffic stop on Tuesday for what appears to be related to an incident involving unrestrained minors in another vehicle. The minors, properly restrained in Lee’s car during the traffic stop, had previously been in another vehicle where they were not restrained in safety seats.

Lee told AllOnGeorgia she had been at the Clyde’s on Highway 80 where she picked up the minor children when an off-duty Brooklet Police Officer, Charles Dutton, approached the vehicle about the children not being restrained in the other vehicle. Lee said she agreed that the children should be restrained, but that it was not her vehicle in question. Lee said one of the children giggled and Dutton looked at him and said, “You think this sh*t is f*ing funny?” Lee left the gas station and proceeded to go home, with the children properly buckled in, when she was pulled over by the on-duty officer and an off-duty.

In the first encounter on video, Lee is speaking to two Brooklet PD officers, one of whom is wearing a badge but appears to be in plain clothes. Lee is heard asking the officers what the reason for being pulled over was and if she was free to go. At one point, the officer told her “you copped an attitude…”

Ultimately, the officer on video told Lee she needed to make sure other cars had car seats installed. She posted the encounter on Facebook Tuesday afternoon and the comments and shares erupted as the discussion spread through the community.

The Brooklet Law states you can not COP AN ATTITUDE with an off duty officer at a local gas station when he is being rude to you… bc he will call his buddy and have you pulled over and harassed. I have contacted an attorney if you have any complaints with the Brooklet PD and are interested in going to the city counsel meeting please send me a private message

Posted by Cindy Bodaford Lee on Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Lee went to the Brooklet Police Department on Wednesday to speak with the chief, Doug Meyer, about her encounter, a conversation which she recorded on her phone with a witness present.

In the video, Meyer is heard telling the woman that he will speak to her in front of the video cameras because she posted a previous encounter on Facebook.

“We’re on video right now and I’m going to record anything that ever happens with you ever again because what you decide to put out on the streets,” Meyer told Lee. Lee then asked to speak with a councilman in the office, directing her question to the Clerk, noting that she no longer wished to interact with Chief Meyer. Meyer repeatedly referred to Lee as “lady” ultimately telling her she needed to leave or be charged with Criminal Trespass and go to jail.

Lee asked the clerk again for the contact information for the coucilman and Meyer instructed her to ‘step outside right now.’ “I’m telling you to leave the building now, you’re making a disturbance,” Meyer said raising his voice.

Ultimately, Lee exited the building as Meyer told her, “In the future, we will not have any mercy or toleration for y’alls constant breaking of the law and blaming it on the police department. Leave the building.”

As Lee was leaving the building, she said, “I have a meeting with the news. This is more I can just add to it,” to which Meyer responded “Knock your lights out, lady.”

That video was posted on social media as well and is posted below. Lee contacted Councilman William Griffith, who is over the Police Department, and he asked her to return to City Hall to complete the complaint form. Lee told Griffith she was afraid to return to city hall after Meyer told her she would be arrested for criminal trespass, so Griffith agreed to take the form to a local conveinence store for pickup.

Lee is in the process of obtaining legal representation.

 

Jeremy Spencer contributed to this report.

Jessica Szilagyi is a former Statewide Contributor for AllOnGeorgia.com.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Peach

    February 1, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    The Brooklet Police Chief has handed in his retirement paperwork today and his last day will be February 9th. I’m pretty sure this “retirement” is a polite way to let him quit. Power needs to be stripped from those in the PD that abuse it. Yay Brooklet Council for paying attention.

  2. Avatar

    Bryan A.

    February 2, 2018 at 8:32 am

    I have spoken to the Brooklet PD chief on a few occasions and have to say he is a standup guy.
    The officers’ handling of the situation was not at all correct, but their intent was.
    Have you ever seen a child after an accident when they were not properly in seatbelts or seats?
    I can assure you the chief and those officers have. It is horrible.
    I can only assume the chief was protecting his officers in a time it is tough to be LEO, we can’t imagine.
    He was worried for them and overreacted.
    I hate this happened, for the officers, for the lady and the kids.
    None are better for it.

    • Avatar

      Pop mommy

      February 13, 2018 at 11:23 am

      He BY THREAT OF ARREST, stopped a citizen from filing a complaint. That is not a stand up guy, that is a CORRUPT COP.
      Do you believe his demeanor was professional? If a citizen( the lady) acted with the same hostility towards the clerk( who she asked for assistance), would she have been arresyed for disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace ? Yes. Would judge/ jury find guilty? Yes. So why is the officer not held to same standard? Should officers be exempt from laws they enforce? No.
      Is impeding or obstructing a citizens right to file a complaint against an officer legal? No. Is it professional? No. Is it in publics interest? No. Is it in the officers interest? Yes. Is it in the depts interest? Yes. So as long as it is in an officers or the depts interest, what is in the best interest of a citizen or the community does not matter? Of corse not.
      This video clearly shows the Chief and the dept( as other officer was present) will by threat of unlawful and punitive application of authority, will not allow a citizen to file a complaint. So now when you hear this dept, town council, town attorney state any officer inside this dept has never had a complaint filed against them, is it possible this video shows how that is? Has this been done before?

    • Avatar

      johnharris

      February 18, 2018 at 11:12 am

      They are the furthest think from standup people. They are Tyrants of the worst kind and should be tried on charges, and as many as prosecuters could thinkof just like they wanted to do to someone standing up for their rights. shove your standups where the sun dont shine.

  3. Avatar

    Joel

    February 3, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    I happen to know Charles personally. I witnessed him try and fight a minor one time when connection point in reidsville used to be abundant faith. I’ve sat in his living room in reidsville before he worked at the jail and ultimately became a cop when he made multiple racist slurrs. He is ignorant. I’m 100 percent sure he caused this. He has no place being an officer of the law. If you had a real conversation with the guy you’d realise he shouldn’t have authority over anyone.

  4. Avatar

    Robert Thomas

    February 14, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    39 years on the job would suggest you could recognize police failure and know how you could better deal with the public. He truly should be ashamed of his actions. I hate to condemn a man who perhaps has an otherwise honorable career (though I have no idea), but if this is final result, it’s a huge failure.

  5. Avatar

    R. Bishop

    October 6, 2019 at 10:11 pm

    You have a seasoned / veteran officer in the position of Chief but the guy spent the majority of his career working criminal interdiction and dealing with drug couriers, drug cartel members, murderers, violent parolees, etc… basically the baddest of the bad. That’s all the guy has ever dealt with and knows. He probably has little public relations skills in non-confrontational environments, little patience, zero tact and no business in a position as a Chief, especially in a small town where people think they live in Mayberry. He would be a much better fit in a place like Savannah, Macon or Atlanta where crime is out of control and he could do some real good, but we know Democrats would not have it that way. These officers working under the Chief are modeling the same behavior and the chief is going to believe its okay and just part of the job. Now the clueless moron driving the kids around improperly restrained did need to be educated on basic rules of the road and her responsibility as vehicle operator, regardless if the children are hers. She’s a prime example of what all officers face on a regular basis in these back-woods Mayberry towns.

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