Closing arguments wrap up in Whiteville police officer trial, one charge dismissed

Ofc. Aaron Herring walks into court on April 19, 2018 (Photo: Basil John/WWAY)

WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — The fate of whether a Whiteville Police Sergeant broke the law during an arrest in 2015 is now in the hands of a judge, who dismissed one of the charges.

Closing arguments took place late this afternoon in the trial of Aaron Herring.

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After the state rested its case, Herring’s attorney motioned to dismiss all charges, saying Herring was doing his job and Juwarn Britt was interfering with justice.

Herring’s attorney accused Britt of selective amnesia and said his testimony is not credible, that he simply ‘wants to get rid of the officer who brought him to justice.’

On December 17, 2015, Herring and another officer arrested Britt. While Britt was handcuffed in the back of the patrol car, Herring allegedly hit him after an argument escalated. Herring is also accused of taking off his police badge and throwing it against the windshield hard enough to damage the windshield.

The SBI investigated and a grand jury indicted Herring, who is currently on administrative leave.

In court, Herring’s attorney admitted Herring did throw the badge but it was because he was aggravated. He said Herring should only get a reprimanded for throwing the badge.

The prosecution said Britt was vulnerable, in handcuffs and seatbelted in. She said Herring threw the badge and in reality, no one would indict an officer of the law for dealing with someone who is mouthy, but ‘to remove his badge, what is his intention?’

Herring was charged with simple assault, willful failure to discharge duties, and obstruction of justice. After closing arguments, the judge took a break and left the courtroom.

When he returned, he eventually dismissed the obstruction of justice charge.

This is a bench trial, which means there is no jury.

Court resumes tomorrow.