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FIRST ON 3: Former Leland officer talks about shooting, harassment within department

READ MORE: FIRST ON 3: Former Leland officer talks about shooting, harassment within department
SHERRYLEWIS300.jpg

LELAND, NC (WWAY) -- Former Leland Police officer Sherry Lewis says she has been to hell and back in the last couple of years. For the first time since settling her harassment claim with the town of Leland, Lewis is talking about her experience in the Leland Police Department.

She says things were so bad that she no longer feared what she would come across on the street, but what she had to face inside the station.

March 10 was no different.

Officers were scheduled to participate in a new training simulation exercise. Lewis and other officers agreed that this was going to be another situation where she was targeted.

"I knew how things were and how I was generally targeted and how they felt about me and that they would probably target me to drive me away and humiliate me," Lewis said. "I knew it was coming. This was typical. This was not new to me."

Lewis says during the exercises, she was shot about eight times between her legs before the group broke for lunch. She says she asked the sergeant who was shooting her repeatedly, who we've learned was Mike Landen, to stop shooting her in the crotch because she did not know how much more she could take.

"At this point it was so painful. That's when I had asked them to please stop it, but, of course, they laughed and giggled and just added to my embarrassment," Lewis said.

Lewis says she did not stop participating and tried to ignore the pain. When she was shot in the crotch about four more times, she said she finally broke.

"It hurt pretty bad," she said. "If I describe what I said or did at that moment, I basically clenched my fists and my teeth, swore under my breath, as the two lieutenants were on either side of me yelling and just demeaning me and humiliating me as the other officers watched."

Lewis says after that, her supervisors told her to leave immediately. Because she had ridden with other officers, she was left without a ride home and was made to walk, which only made her injuries worse.

"My pants were sticking to the little cuts, and every time I'd move my legs it'd pull out of the cuts and make it bleed more. It hurt horribly. The only way I could walk was with my feet apart and I had to walk quite a distance," Lewis said.

After calling her son to pick her up in Kure Beach, Lewis says she called Leland Mayor Pro Tem Brenda Bozeman.

"I poured my heart out," Lewis said. "I told her everything that had happened. Everything that had been happening. I told her I had to resign. I could not face them again. Could I please please turn my badge, my gun, everything from the department into her? That I could never walk into the department again. I couldn't look these men in the eye again."

Lewis says Bozeman told her she needed to make some calls and would get back to her. She never did.

Lewis got a call from Police Chief Tim Jayne an hour later. She says he told her he met with Bozeman and Leland Town Manager Bill Farris to discuss what happened.

Other than giving her statement to the then assistant town manager, Lewis says she never heard from anyone of authority in Leland again. Lewis says that's when she got her attorney involved. She says she wanted the people responsible for the issues in the police department held accountable.

"This was not about money," Lewis said. "Not once during the whole process did I tell my attorney, 'I want X amount of dollars. I want money, money, money.' This was never about the money. This was about righting a wrong, keeping my reputation in tact so that I could continue to do the job I was sworn to do at another department, and also to make sure that the officers that remained there didn't have to keep going through what they're going through."

Lewis says she knows the abuse at the training session was no accident. She says to her knowledge Landen was never disciplined for his involvement.

"I have several witnesses that are sworn officers that heard the planning and actually heard after the fact when I was made to leave the facility that they had done it and it was funny to them," Lewis said. "This was not a training accident. This was an intentional act against me."

Lewis says she was going to try to wait out the bad apples, but she could not stand the situation any longer. She now hopes that by sharing her story, other officers will come forward so that the truth will come out and Leland will have a reliable department again. For now though, she says some cops are not living up to the standards they swore to uphold.

"We, as police officers, are held to a higher standard than your average citizens," Lewis said. "We are the sheep dogs. When the sheep dog becomes the wolf, who do you turn to?"

We've tried to talk with town leaders in Leland, including Jayne, Farris and Bozeman, about what happened to Lewis. They have all refused to discuss the situation citing personnel confidentiality.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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first let me say, i have

first let me say, i have been in Law enforcement for 25 yrs. i would never let this happen. i would fire , not let resign or quit the first officer that done anything out of the scope of their duties or oath.. when you take that oath, you SWEAR to keep your life unsullied . there is no time clock on the badge, you are an ambassador of that badge 24/7. as far as Karma goes, you should not be throwing out the "i hope you dont need us for anything, just remember who is coming when you call 911" that is the kind of childish, inmature unprofessional, bias that goes on in the Leland Dept. if you can look at yourself in the morning and say' am i doing the right thing in my job within the dept and in the public?? answer that without lying to yourself. an honest man will stay honest when no one is looking. there is to much smoke for there not to be a fire. you are there to protect and serve 24/7. that doesn't mean serve yourself! by the way Karma, when all the wash is done and everything comes out, some officers may be calling 911 themselves or should i say the employment office. remember there are 10 people waiting on your job each day in these tough times. Leland PD needs to remember who they work for , and who is paying them to do an honest job. do you get your monies worth when you pay for something? that is what the public wants.i would be ashamed and embarrased if i was on Leland PD and had anything to do with the malfeases that are going on there. for the ones that are straight up, i know it is hard to have to walk in those shoes each day. it seems that you can make a Jerry Springer show off of this dept. Chief Jayne is no Chief, he looks more like sitting BULL!! straighten your act up down there and be a dept that is credible. when you become the news of the day each day and the story is about and on you, then it is time to grow up and be mature and not like a whining bunch of spoiled officers that think that the public keeps owing them and that they are exempt from the morals that GOD gave us or either step aside and let the moral officers come in . quit taking leave of your senses and get yourself straight and clean your own doorstep up before you start making threats about people needing 911 services! 910-754-6120. that is the number to the Employement Security Commision in Shalotte. if i was the Chief or Town manager, that would be some of you officers pink slip today. D.A the people elected you to do a job, do it!! no matter who you live across the street from. stand up and do your job as well. Leland/ Brunswick county deserves better than this!!

Assumption is incorrect...

I'm not a Leland Police Officer...And I'm not even a police officer at all.

I know several Leland Police Officers, and its ashamed that all of this is giving their department a bad name and hurting their reputation as a whole. The officers I do know "ARE AMBASSADORS OF THEIR BADGE 24/7."

I did state that I understand there are some issues that hopefully get dealt with appropriately...meaning that people who Are in the wrong should accept the consequences when it comes to punishment. BUT there are officers in Leland who are GOOD officers and go to work everyday to protect and serve their community. Not necessarily this story but in ones past, people are just bashing the department and all the officers as a whole. My original post wasn't a THREAT...it was more of a "think before You speak" or "if you don't Have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all" kind of post because you never know when you may need help and the ones you bashed are the runs coming to your rescue.

And it is ashamed that peoples names are being thrown around in comments....We are only human and we all Have made mistakes in our lifetime.I'm sure Sherry herslef has even made a few mistakes before...

well, first of all Karma, i

well, first of all Karma, i am a deputy still. there are not good officers that allowed this to happen in their presence. when this was to the point that an officer had to walk over a mile in uniform with paint blotches in her crotch area and wet from the rain , then this is unacceptable at all after she said QUIT. someone would have toted an a@$ whoopin. i have never tolerated this in training and never will. this is not a MISTAKE! this was intentional not a mistake. as far as someone coming to my rescue, these people cant even police themselves . i am the police and who do we call when there is an emergency,not 911 , i take it upon my 24/7 status to take care of it. i do it right. these officers have a right NOT TO BREAK THE LAW AND OATH. as far as nothing nice to say, i have dealt with a det. at this dept after some break ins and he was a jerk. just a reak jerk. no brotherhood there when i tried to pass on info. next time he can deal with it himself. now as far as all this going on, i do know that there are more serious things coming to light than this. you will see civil right violations, assault charges and misuse of gub-mint property. i will say that the unemployment rate will be going up in leland and that they also will be the biggest company providing jobs at the same time. thanks karma for your time. no issue with you. i think the citizens deserve better. now this is from the inside of the uniform. it goes on in alot of depts. but this is at home and it really looks and smells of something bad and i believe charges are coming!!!

Backpedalling

Nah, it sounded like a threat to me too. I don't buy that first sentence at all. Men and women who wear a badge are held to higher standards. I would expect them to aid even their worst enemies with urgency, respect, and care. If they can't do that, they should resign.

Good morning officer. Good

Good morning officer. Good luck in your future endeavors as a night shift security guard and some dump of a warehouse. Your days in law enforcement are numbered.

Having heard her interview

I am candidly surprised the case was settled for $25,000. I would guess her attorney was looking for quick holiday money. The insurance carrier adjuster certainly earned his income on that case alone.

This should have been a 6 figure claim settlement.

And I know she said it was never about the money. But she should have gotten more.

Still unanswered is whether she filed a workers compensation claim for injuries and emotional trauma on the workplace.

For Sherry 1964

I don't understand. Where are all the people who wrote "What Crime has been committed"? Where are all the people that said "Not my Johnny"? Where are all the people that said "Kblue don't know what he/she is talking about? Where are they now WWAY? The people that yelled at you for posting "lies" and "tabloid trash"? Where are they now? Again "IT TICKLES ME" to wonder what rock they are hiding under.....Say's who? Say's Kblue!

Thank you for being so brave Officer Sherry Lewis.

I am a retired female firefighter from another state and it makes
me sick to hear that these things are still happening. We go to
the same academy, have the same training, endure the same physical
tests, and prove we can do the same work. It's sad to hear that
15 years since I retired this is still going on in these departments.
Time to clean house Leland!!

What is the protocol?

Would someone please articulate the protocol for such a mess as this. Surely, there are procedures that are followed to ascertain the facts and punish the wrong doing. What is the governmental chain of command? Is there at least an ethics board that could become involved?
It seems to be obvious to many folks that there is corruption, ignorance, and abuse in the governmental body of Leland. Someone please, please take the lead that is desperately needed to expose and end this as soon as possible.

This drama will adversely affect the town of Leland in terms of reputation and ability to attract newcomers. My gosh, aren't the property values low enough as it is.

Somebody do something!

These Officers should be held accountable!

I'm a retired Police Officer that is ashamed to call these Police Officals and Officers, Brothers. They give Brothers a BAD NAME. They really need to be held accountable for their actions. I've seen NO REAL investigations into the wrong doings and you could see that they were SCARED to allow the Brunswick County Sherrif's help. I have no confidence in this Police Department. There is TOO MUCH Corruption here and if they can't or wont take care of their own(Other than covering it up), then they are not worthy or capable of taking care of the needs of the citizens of this town. WAKE UP PEOPLE this is a Bad situation only getting worse.

Leland officer talks

I think Sherry would make an excellant write in choice for MAYOR OF LELAND its not like we currently have a good choice. What do you think Leland lets hit them where it Hurts.

I don't think I would have

I don't think I would have stood for 2 shots! The first one...maybe an accident ....the second ? I would have been passing out blue ball trophies to all the gigglers.

Mrs. Timillicky Writes

"By not coming forth as a victim or witness, these officers/sources who took an oath to uphold the law, should be held accountable for impeding an investigation. I believe in justice and if anyone is proven to be guilty of a crime, even if it is my husband, I believe strongly that they should be dealt with in a court of law".

I agree with Mrs Delapea. Her husband should be arrested. I'm sure he was one of the 2 Lieutenants that laughed every time Sherry was shot. Egging on Landon. I'm also sure he was one of the Lieutenants that made Sherry walk home injured. Bravo P. Delapea. Your a brave lady!

In Mr Balboa Jaynes letter to the SBI he writes, We have no Victim/witness, or complainant to be investigated but can you investigate us? Timmy boy! Things just got messy huh kiddo? Say's who? Say's Kblue!

Hey K you missed good ole Karl!

Out of all of your posts you haven't mentioned good ole Karl. You know the one that orchestrated the whole training. He was the one that set up all of the groups that day. He made sure tht the refs(K&D) and the "bad guys"(L&O&I) knew exactly where Sherry was. And of course he has been the pillar IA investigator. Especially since he has never been an investigator anywhere else at anytime. Now they have good ole Joe Pierce the other Chief's boy. He has taken a couple of investigator courses and that makes him an investigator as well. LMAO! These guys also sure don't like being beaten by the truth. What a shame. If they can't make it up it didn't happen. Pathological lyers always believe the crap they spit out!
Hope you've read the new article in the Star News. "Sgt. Landen is one of the best officers in this department". LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sgt. Crybaby, Gofer, Scardy Cat Landen? Then we have the famous gun pointer/shooter JC? Not going to go there. PTSS?

-In my Arnold voice- It's not PTSS.

-In my Arnold voice- It's not PTSS.

Read this description and see if it fits better "Delusions of Grandeur is a false belief that one is more important or powerful than they really are. It is often associated with Psychosis (an inability to correctly evaluate reality). PTSD is not a psychosis. Personality traits and character flaws are usually set in childhood. Those diagnosed with PTSD do not lie any more than anyone else."

Well, guess that excludes JC from having PTSD as he has supreme delusions of grandeur AND he's a HUGE pathological liar. This information came from www.pownetwork.org, a site devoted to bringing military imposters to justice. Oops. Have no idea why I was there.

Ooopps

My bad!!!Say's who? Say's Kblue!

kblue2221984, Didn't you

kblue2221984,

Didn't you post a few days ago that you were going to provide your full name? Sooo, you're not only a coward by hiding behind your alias but you are also a liar. Not surprising. You're probably more corrupt than any of the others. This is probably a ploy to divert attention away from you. You are a disgraceful coward. You are probably the type that waits for other officers to arrive at dangerous call for service first so you don't have to actually be the one to do something. Liar.

Read first then comment...

Stupid people ROCK! My words were "when the arrest's are made I will not only give my name but have a cook out". And just for you? An autograph!!!!Say's who? Say's Kblue!

Sherry

I just talked to Sherry, shes doing well and your positive comments really make her heart feel better. So please keep them coming. "For Sherry" 1964.......Say's who? Say's Kblue!

A nut

You are a fricken nut, lady!!!

Wow. Just the idea that

Wow. Just the idea that something like this is happening in a law enforcement agency in 2011 is amazing. I can tell you that law enforcement officers from across the state are talking about what is happening in Leland. Last week I was at the North Carolina Justice Academy in Salemburg and the Leland PD was mentioned in the class I attended, at lunch and on breaks. All of us are amazed at what was going on.

WWAY, my suggestion to you is to go outside your community and speak to training staff at the NCJA and other large agencies that use sim guns and see what they think about the shooting of officers with sim guns. ALE, Fayetteville Police, Cumberland County S.O., Raleigh PD, Asheville PD, Durham PD and S.O. and many others use sim guns for training. It might prove enlightening to your viewers to see what policies and procedures these agencies have with regards to their training.

Disgusted

I've following this story from the beginning and I have to say that I've never been quite so embarrassed to say I'm from Leland. Did ANYONE help this woman? It seems that everywhere she turned, she got a slap in the face. If even half the citizens in Leland are as upset as I am, those in power right now should be afraid for their jobs... very afraid. Unforgivable that we have such morons as police officers. Even worse that the town leaders covered it up.

SO PROUD OF YOU !!!!!

Sherry....So proud of you for standing up! I know that this is just one of many times you have been treated unfairly. I hope the officers that treated you this way pay and I hope an EXAMPLE is made out of them. I don't understand what makes people think that they are untouchable. What goes around comes around. You would think that such smart officers would know that. I guess it just proves how smart they are. As far as the Mayor, Council, and Chief, maybe they will listen a little closer now, when people tell them things...... Good luck Sherry, believe me when I say that the community (the ones that have known you since the beginning of Leland) are all standing behind you !

Get rid of the dirt please

I work in public safety for 24 hour shifts in a neighboring town. I have to leave my wife and children at home to go to work and it is sad that I have to tell her not to call the Leland Police if she feels in danger. I have instructed her to not even open the door if they were to knock for some reason. I would almost rather pay more money to live in Wilmington and at least know my wife and children are safe while I am at work. Somebody needs to do something before this town goes to crap.

It is truly sad when law

It is truly sad when law abiding citizens have lost confidence in the people who have been sworn to protect and serve. I am grateful that the corruption is not rife in my town's police department. You and your family should not have to feel this way and it is past time for Leland's alleged leadership to step up and do something. They are there to serve the people and they have let you down. I pray that the people of Leland keep all of this in mind when they head to the polls. Apparently y'all can't make the council do anything, but you can fire them. My prayers go with you and yours while you wait to see if this mess ever gets straightened out.

Hammer time

Hang in there girl, you have handled this with dignity. As I understand it the Legend is about to drop the Hammer. You deserve better and he is going to finish what he started. when it come to political payback in the work place, he is the most dangerous guy out there he's coming armed with notes dates and the goods to prove you had no manager.

You were a target thats why they convinced the council to rid the town of the dare program. not becouse it was a bad program but because you were simply next on the list.

Speaking of "DARE"....

Speaking of DARE, I would really wonder if any of the town knew, or had any clue of, how the end of this program came about?? From what I am aware of it was discontinued in a somewhat illegal manner.

OK, here is what I have "heard" (mind you pie throwers, I did not say "KNOW"):

Lewis raised all of the funding for the Dare program so as not any of the funding of said such program would cost the town any monies.(FYI) This means the town of Leland did not actually endure the blunt cost!!

In this I mean: applying for Government grants with extensive and laborious methods to assure procurement of such grants. i.e., letter writing, applications, phone calls, applications, letter writing, follow up, phone calls, applications.......most all of this on her own time.

She also researched the local community so that She may have an incite as what type of Dare curriculum that may be most needed in her/your community. And then applied that in an educational atmosphere so as to be the most beneficial to all that had partaken. Guess what?? The kids loved her!

But, when it came time to weed out her as an individual, because she could not allow herself to play by "Momma Jayne and her boy`s rules", Dare was going to have to go first. Local citizens with children in middle school can reflect, a timeline, as to how long this has been going on, as they know when their children last received Dare training.

Here is what bothers me:

Local business` had donated money toward a cause that they had felt would benefit your area as well as themselves. Some (a lot)of those donations came from real estate companies and land
developers who could have benefited from the selling point of having local schools with a concerned curriculum. We all know how much todays mom is concerned with what the schools have to offer.

Officer Lewis not only promoted a successful campaign, but raised well above her own expectations, such as to, be able to, purchase a beautiful Dodge Charger. Which was freshly painted in the modern Dare scheme. Wow, the kids, is what this did!! And thinking like the car buff that I am,at 45, I could only imagine how great of an educational tool it was. I wish that all teachers could have such an effective tool to educate children with.

Well, seems, after a summer break and its time to go back to school, There will be NO MORE DARE as per the town. Ok, says those that are powerless to change this, so lets apply the Dare account toward something that can be possibly as effective and something that could still be good for the kids. The towns answer was "what account?" we used those thousands, yes many thousands,that were in a separate account earmarked for Dare toward what we seen as more Fit" for the town. I wonder if the donators making contributions for a Dare campaign really know what they supported. I wonder if this kind of money (mis)appropriation is actually legal.

And then there is Officer Lewis` "pride and joy", that beautiful, awesomely painted charger that she personally paid for. Guess what? They took it from her as a matter of spite and gave her a blown up ninety something piece of junk to drive. While explaining their giving the new car to a rookie, road jockey, as just the way the cookie crumbles...

Thanks, Joseph

Thank you for sharing what you heard, Joseph. I'm actually even more outraged now. No, this Officer didn't belong with the Leland PD, she has too much geniune interest in the community to fit in. You say the Toys for Tots/Cop Camp loving Lt. was part of shutting down DARE? WOW!!!!! Did the donations get returned? No??

Sherry Lewis for Mayor. That's all I have left to say.

Know exactly what this

Know exactly what this officer must have gone through. I was a state officer for over 13 years and avoided my co workers anytime I could. If you are not one of the boys life is not good !!!

Mistake

Sherry,

Your only mistake is settling for that trival civil settlement. You should have been fairly compensated for what you went through. It is no picnic working in a hostle work environment everyday. Being someone who was trained on the operations and use of simunitions, I know the pain it can cause on unprotected areas, That is why the manufacturer publishes a MANDANTORY protective equipment list with their product. (Did the Department supply adequate protective gear for her???) If these shooting allogations are true, the officer who fired 12 times at her should have been terminated on the spot and (maybe even charged) A Situation like this is a perfect example of why the public has little confidence in Law Enforcement. We claim to be PROFESSIONAL. But there are always the 10% who are in it for the wrong reasons, which ruins it for the other 90% of this agency and all others.