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Colonial Beach council receives letter from police officers complaining about chief and sergeant involved in Taser incidents
BY FRANK DELANO
Detrimental fallout from a federal trial of two town police officers has now seeped behind the closed doors of the Colonial Beach Town Council.
In a closed meeting last week, council members heard complaints about police Chief Courtlandt A. Turner and Sgt. Ryan Hood. The complaints came in a letter reportedly signed by nine of the 11 uniformed officers on the town force, according to council sources.
A federal judge last month acquitted Turner and Hood on all 15 charges resulting from two Taser incidents in 2005. A grand jury had indicted the officers on charges of depriving the Taser victims of their civil rights and attempting to obstruct an FBI investigation.
Both officers were on paid leave or assigned to other town duties for months before they returned to police work after the trial.
The letter said:
"To allow Turner and Hood to return to the police department after the U.S. Federal Court Judge indicated dishonesty among them is devastating, to say the least, to everyone--employees and citizens.
"Also it is difficult to work in an environment where you are supervised by someone who you testified against in a federal court trial.
"Also, several complaints over the past three years by past and present employees have been formally made to Turner against Hood's conduct towards employees and citizens of the town with NO actions taken."
The council sources confirmed the text of the letter. The sources did not wish to be identified because the letter was read in a closed council session May 31.
The text of the letter was provided to The Free Lance-Star by a person with ties to the police department.
Saying he had not seen the letter, Turner declined comment on it yesterday.
"No one has addressed any concerns to me. I believe I'd be the first one to know," he said.
Hood could not be reached for comment.
Three Colonial Beach policemen testified for the prosecution at the four-day federal trial in Richmond. One of them said that his report of one of the Taser incidents was altered after he filed it at the police department.