Metro Police Supervisors Under Internal Investigation
by Mark Bellinger
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Three Metro Police supervisors have become the targets of an internal investigation after giving an intoxicated former officer a ride home.
Metro Police Captain Kenneth Walburn and Sergeants Mitchell Kornberg and Chris Hendry are the targets of this internal investigation.
On September 19, 2011 just before midnight Walburn and his Sergeants were called to a scene at the intersection of McGavock Pike and Currey Road where a former Metro Officer Ronnie Brock stood in the middle of the road next to his Jeep Wrangler.
"Mister Brock had an open bottle of beer. He appeared to be intoxicated," said Metro Police Spokesman Don Aaron.
Aaron said the department's investigation has found the officers decided Brock was too intoxicated to drive, but he wasn't charged with DUI.
"The officers never saw Brock in the vehicle. Never saw him driving, weaving, etc. Now, arguably probable cause could have been for a DUI offense," said Aaron.
Legally, a DUI may have been difficult to prosecute in court since Brock was never seen in the car.
Instead of being given a DUI, Brock was cited, but not arrested, for public intoxication, having a gun while intoxicated and possession of drug paraphernalia.
"Based on their descriptions on his level of intoxication the police department policy would dictate that person be physically arrested because that level of intoxication would continue to pose a risk to the individual as well as perhaps others," Aaron explained.
Aaron added the officers are not being investigated for the stop, but what they did afterwards. Sergeant Hendry clocked out for an hour and gave Brock a ride home instead of taking him to jail.
The ride home and the decision not to arrest Brock caught the eye of Police Chief Steve Anderson, who ordered the internal investigation.
The officers could be disciplined, but Aaron would not say what that could mean.
Meanwhile, Brock's citations for public intoxication and the unlawful use of drug paraphernalia were dismissed in court. He also pleaded no contest to the weapon charge and got probation.
Just last year, memos from Captain Walburn were the focus of a NewsChannel 5 Investigation. During that time, he led the police department's DUI unit. The memos he sent warned officers they could be disciplined if they did not make more DUI arrests.