NOT GUILTY: Judge rules in Whiteville officer assault trial

Herring and his attorney
Herring speaking with his attorney after the judge declared he was not guilty on April 20, 2018. (Photo: Basil John/WWAY)

WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — A judge has made a ruling in the trial of a Whiteville Police Sergeant charged with assaulting a man in his custody.

Aaron Herring was found not guilty of simple assault and willful failure to discharge duties. The obstruction of justice charge was dismissed yesterday afternoon.

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“While I was waiting for the judges decision, all that stuff was playing through my mind. What my future is going to be like. And of course when he came back with a not guilty verdict, I was pleased and all that went away. So, I was relieved,” Herring said.

The trial resumed this morning with several character witnesses taking the stand who either worked with Herring or knew him.

They all called Herring a truthful and honest person.

Herring was accused of hitting Juwarn Britt, who was handcuffed in the back of a patrol car, in December of 2015. He hopes Britt will get something out of this.

“I’m hoping he’ll take away from this as well. A better attitude with the system and learn that, as law enforcement officers we’re here to help. But at sometimes, no matter who you are, the complaints come from the citizens. We take those seriously. Any drug complaints or any other complaints, we are going to investigate them, no doubt,” Herring said.

Herring also admitted he took off his badge and threw it hard enough to damage a windshield.

Herring’s attorney said he merely threw his badge out of anger but did not act on anything else.

Britt and his family were in the courtroom when the decision came down but left the courtroom as soon as they heard herring was not guilty. Herring says he will try and get back on the force.