5 Knox Co. Sheriff's Patrol Officers demoted for "notoriously disgraceful" conduct

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Five Knox Co. Sheriff's Patrol Officers were demoted and stripped of their law enforcement powers due to what Sheriff Jimmy "J.J." Jones called their "notoriously disgraceful personal conduct" during a traffic stop.

Jason Acuff, 36; Jeff Bryant, 38; Brian Rehg, 31; Brad Cox, 34; and Alex Slate, 40, were all demoted to Correction Officers "effective immediately" following an investigation that determined they violated department policies and procedures during a traffic stop.

“This is an embarrassing incident to the Sheriff’s Office and certainly is not indicative of the men and women who work hard and are very professional,” said Sheriff Jones. “I am releasing this information before any media inquiries because I think it’s important for us to be open and honest.”

The incident reportedly occurred shortly before 1:00 a.m. on October 16, 2011, according to a statement from the Sheriff Office. It started when Deputy Brian Rehg pulled over a 19 year-old man, who was not identified, on Emory Road.

The reports said the other officers arrived thereafter. The statement did not address what happened, but did say "the officers' actions were unauthorized and not approved."

A complaint was then filed with the Office of Professional Standards. It had to be forwarded to the Major Crimes Unit since the father of one of the officers involved, Capt. Tom Cox, oversees the Office of Professional Standards.

Sheriff Jones' letter to each of the deputies:

“An investigation into your notoriously disgraceful personal conduct regarding a traffic stop on October 16, 2011 has been completed. Your personal conduct during this traffic stop was found to unprofessional, inexcusable, unauthorized and intolerable as a Law Enforcement officer with this office. Your actions and those of your fellow officers on improvising your own set of punishment for a relatively minor traffic law violation as you are well aware, violated departmental policies and procedures. The action displayed during this traffic stop not only brings discredit upon you and this agency, but that of Law Enforcement in general. Your incompetent, inefficient and negligent decision to ignore your training, Departmental Policies and Procedures and all around good sense entrusted in you as an officer is absolutely inexcusable and will not be condoned.

"Based on your decision to directly violate Departmental Policy and Procedures, as well as violating Merit Council Rules: 9.3a: Failure to meet performance requirements, 9.3d: Incompetence, inefficient and negligence in the performance of duty, and 9.3g: Notoriously disgraceful personal conduct, I have made the decision to strip you of your Law Enforcement powers and demote you from the position of Patrol Officer to a Correction Officer effective immediately.”

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  • by tam Location: knoxville on Oct 29, 2011 at 03:06 PM
    If you would like to see what the Knox County Sheriffs Department does to people they stop please go to their website, look up inmates and look at the picture of Randie Anderson arrested on Sept. 3, 2011 Knox County Sheriffs Office beat him! Keep in mind this is a 140 Lb man that these officers hit over and over again! The KCSO beat him up very badly. He NEVER fought back! Nor was he armed in ANY way! This needs to be looked into and they need to be exposed for what they are! This traffic stop was only one, I'm sure there are many more cases. This kid was very lucky, if his friends weren't there he may have been beaten also! I shudder to think what may have happened if this was a young lady that they stopped. Please let me add that Randie's girlfriend Belinda was there and witnessed the whole thing. After the beating these officers put Randie and Belinda in the same police cruiser where they were able to talk about what had happened. Belinda relayed to me what had happened. Where is the DVD's from the night of Sept. 3 when Randie was brutally beaten by Knoxville Sheriffs Office?? I will be contacting Mark Webber and Tom Cox. I will do whatever it takes to make sure the officers involved in Randie's beating are reprimanded.
  • by i'm afraid to say Location: knox on Oct 29, 2011 at 12:13 PM
    just demoted? Why not fired? Cops are allowed to get away with way to much without consequences. Also the press statement was awefully vague. IT SHOULD BE PUBLIC knowledge what the officer did. Stop covering things up sheriff.
  • by racer dave Location: knox on Oct 29, 2011 at 06:32 AM
    First you wanna take down our poker houses now our teenagers??Come on J.J.
  • by knoxbug on Oct 29, 2011 at 04:02 AM
    Way to go J.J.! Sounds like Brad Cox had several issues that his Daddy may or may not of helped sweep under the carpet. How many one day suspensions can one man get? He isn't above the law now. I bet this isn't the first person either of them has pulled over that hasn't gone quiet right. Whomever had the nerve to file the complaint, thank you for stepping up! Tough economy for them to try to find a job. Maybe, they can learn to say "would you like fries with that?"
  • by Not suprised Location: gburg on Oct 29, 2011 at 03:37 AM
    I am sure this is not the first time these officers have acted way out of line , Thankfully, they were just caught doing what they probably have done to many....NO wonder knoxville doesent have a good Reputation !!!! Way to go officers...Protect and Serve "RIGHT"...welcome back to reality. If I were you all I would not even show my face around town. Good Job Mr.Jones, you made a wise decision. On another note, Knoxville is not the only town with corrupt officers...it's only a matter of time before others are caught.
  • by Troy Location: Knoxville on Oct 28, 2011 at 08:04 PM
    I've always had great respect for Knox co and Knoxville police. Hopefully this is a wake up call to other officers.
  • by Ray Henry Location: AshevilleHwy on Oct 28, 2011 at 03:14 PM
    You made a fair decision and need to keep up the good work..


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