North Carolina police investigate audio detailing abuse

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Domestic Violence (Photo: MGN)

Winston-Salem, N.C. (AP) – An investigation is underway following the release of an audio recording in which the assistant police chief in Winston-Salem apparently admits that he physically assaulted his wife.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports City Manager Lee Garrity acknowledged on Thursday that officials are conducting an internal personnel investigation into Assistant Police Chief William Penn, 44, after the recording surfaced was posted on Facebook on Nov. 27. Penn’s wife, Cicely Penn, also emailed a copy of the recording to the newspaper.

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On the recording, Penn can be heard saying he grabbed his wife by the throat, pushed her against a wall and slammed her onto a couch.. His attorney, Michael Grace, said his client denies an assault took place and says the recording is unrelated to any assault. Grace’s statement does not deny that William Penn is speaking in the recording, or what he said.

Garrity declined to share further details, citing state privacy laws. William Penn has not been criminally charged, and City Attorney Angela Carmon said the decision on whether to begin a criminal investigation has not been made.