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WPD offers little information about use of force investigation during strange news conference


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- In what can probably best be described as a bizarre news conference, Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous told reporters today the department has asked the SBI to investigate a use of force incident WPD discovered during a review. He said the investigation did not stem from a citizen complaint.

"We immediately initiated our own internal investigation," Evangelous read from a prepared statement. "I conferred with the District Attorney, and we agreed to ask the SBI to conduct a fair and impartial investigation. I have encouraged our officers to cooperate fully with this investigation."

Evangelous would not say what officer was involved in the incident, citing personnel laws, but did say the officer was on paid leave. He also would say only that the incident happened during an arrest some time around mid-May.

Following a request by WWAY during the news conference for a list of officers on paid leave, Rawley released information that the officer placed on leave May 14 after the discovery of this incident under review is Cpl. James Coley Johnson, who has been with the department since 1996 and not had any disciplinary actions.

Evangelous said he held the news conference after several media inquiries about an incident. Last month WWAY made inquiries about whether Cpl. Johnson was under investigation and on leave. Citing personnel laws, Rawley responded via e-mail on May 21 that she could only confirm he was on paid leave.

Reading from his statement, Evangelous said he was making the public announcement of the investigation in an attempt to avoid rumor and speculation regarding the officer and investigation, but the chief then refused repeated requests from reporters to provide more context. At times he just stood closed mouthed and shrugged his shoulders.

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.


No Wonder Crime Is Up

Y'know what would be great? If the WPD and the NHCSO administrations stopped trying to bury their own and investigated the CRIMINALS with as much gusto as they "investigated" the hard working officers of their departments. If this crap keeps up, the real cops will be so worried about losing their jobs, they won't make any effort to combat crime... and then the criminals will take over this city like they did with Jacksonville and Fayetteville. But noooooooo, the WPD and NHCSO don't want to "offend" anybody or risk a... gasp... LAWSUIT.




So they are wasting the taxpayers money because this POS got smacked by the police. He should have put a bullet in this heroin dealing piece of garbage. Now his momma comes forward,why LAWSUIT.

" Evangelous said he was

" Evangelous said he was making the public announcement of the investigation in an attempt to avoid rumor and speculation regarding the officer and investigation"

How does a press conference, that only reveals what the media knows, work to avoid rumor and speculation? It would seem that this weirdness would only serve to fuel rumor and speculation.

It is hard for the media to

It is hard for the media to crucify anyone without their name. They don't need the facts.

Bizarre ?

How so ? A case is under investigation. All parties involved can't speak, until the investigation is complete. What's "Bizarre", is news sources demanding all the answers, right away. The answer will be given, but all stones have to be turned, first.
It's called a "Professional", "Fair" and "Standard". Not "Bizarre".

I understand the media wanting the story. But some things take time.