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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — A day after details were released in the investigation of three Wrightsville Beach Police officers, citizens are coming forward with their own allegations of police misconduct.

From a traffic stop that ended in a Tasing, to claims of a botched investigation of an apparent sexual assault, residents say one officer should not be allowed on the streets.

“All three officers had strong performance records… up to this particular time,” Wrightsville Beach Town Manager Bob Simpson said Tuesday when announcing the demotion of two officers and the resignation of another after an internal investigation.

Simpson’s comments had some people scratching their heads. Among them, Arlo McLawhorn. He is one of four men seen in dash cam video that shows a Wrightsville Beach cop Tasing McLawhorn’s friend. He says the officer firing the Taser is Shaun Appler, who the town demoted this week.

“He’s basically getting Tased, and you can see he’s Tasing him the whole time; just holding him telling him to come, you can see him motioning,” McLawhorn said about the video.

McLawhorn says the incident happened in June 2009. He and his buddies had hailed a cab when they were pulled over. McLawhorn says Ofc. Robert Miller, who was also demoted this week, was in the process of giving the cab a citation for an illegal pick-up when his buddies got out to try and let one of their friends go to restroom. McLawhorn says that’s when things went downhill.. He claims the officers in the video acted unprofessionally.

“Immediatly the officer comes up with his cuffs drawn and arrest my buddy,” McLawhorn said “He never tells us why he’s arrested.”

About five minutes later the video shows McLawhorn’s friend being Tased.

But McLawhorn is not the only person that has had a run in with one of the demoted officers. A man who we’ll call “Rick” says his son was caught up in a he-said-she-said story in which he was accused of rape.

Rick says his son was beat unconscious by friends of the alleged victim, but when it was time for police to investigate what happened, Rick says Ofc. Appler made no attempted to be fair and investigate both sides.

“This young man did not need to be carrying a weapon and enforcing the laws, ’cause he doesn’t know how to enforce the laws equally,” Rick said. “He enforces the laws as he sees it. It’s his court. What he said to me, and I quote, ‘Your son deserves what he got.’ He was almost beat to death, and my son had not even had his day in court yet. How would you feel if a police officer said that to you?”

We reached out to Simpson about his comments regarding Miller’s and Appler’s performance record. He said he made the comment based on what was in personnel records, including looking at reviews or any reprimands from five years back. As for the incidents in our story, he declined to comment.

We also tried calling Appler at work, but we could not reach him for comment.

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47 Comments on "ONLY ON 3: Citizens accuse demoted Wrightsville Beach cop of misconduct"

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Grand Ole Party
2015 years 11 months ago

In fact it is pretty much universal and is best for officer safety.

2015 years 11 months ago

My brother-in-law has been in law enforcement for nearly twenty years. He says that if you get pulled over, you stay in the car, roll your window down, and keep your hands where the officer can see them. If you are the driver, put your hands on the steering wheel. Do not start reaching for your license and registration until the officer asks for them.

I’ve been pulled before and in addition to the recommendations I was give, I also explain to the officer what I am reaching into the glove compartment for. I also explain why I am reaching… Read more »

2015 years 11 months ago

please keep in mind that the whole reason why this video is coming out now is to show that the stmt that the town mgr made about the record of these cops is 100% false. this video is just one example of how their conduct was brought forward to the town mgr 2.5 yrs ago and nothing was done about it. ever since this incident it has always been known to me that these cops were scumbags and the fact that they are under investigation for some other reason is not surprising at all. what happened that night in the… Read more »

I Think4Myself
2015 years 11 months ago

Thank you so much for being level headed. i cant wait for the day karma comes back for the judgemental ones. but then it shows just how brainwashed they are. they don’t even know if the reason the person is in so called trouble with the law is legit but here they are judge and jury. i love karma its a itch that will be scratched. and it usually teaches the person(s) a lesson in the very things they judge so harshly

2015 years 11 months ago

I’m all for the firing of a crooked Police Officer, but everyone and their sister knows not to get out of a vehicle that has been pulled over. From the little bit of footage shown I could not make a judgement for either side. Sounds like a whole bunch of hear say. I doubt this footage is what got them demoted. I’m certain it was something much worse……..Say’s who? Say’s Kblue!!

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