NAACP leader not happy WPD K9 officer is back on duty - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

NAACP leader: 'Not the happiest' WPD K9 officer is returning to active duty

The president of the Wilmington chapter of the NAACP, Deborah Maxwell. The president of the Wilmington chapter of the NAACP, Deborah Maxwell.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -  The president of the Wilmington chapter of the NAACP said she thought more should have been done to the Wilmington K-9 officer who was involved in a chase after a DWI stop.  

WPD K9 officer Stafford Brister was accused of lifting his K9 into the driver's side window onto a man who drove through a DWI checkpoint in October, leading officers on a chase.

Thursday, Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said Officer Brister will remain an active member of the Wilmington Police Department, however, he won't be returning to the K9 unit.

WPD K9 officer Stafford Brister was put on administrative leave with pay in November, pending the outcome of the investigation. He will return to active duty as a patrol officer.

In December, local NAACP President, Deborah Maxwell, said she hoped the internal investigation into the actions would find the officer in the wrong.

Maxwell said Friday she was "not the happiest" about the decision to allow him to go back to work and "would have hoped for more, because it looked like such a heinous video at the time it occurred."

Maxwell said the fact Officer Brister will now be serving as a Patrol Officer and not in the K9 unit, has brought "some sense of satisfaction to the community, you have to remember that 50 years ago in Alabama when people walked across a bridge, they were attacked by dogs, so this is something that in  this community brings back fear, and memories of things like that regardless of the outcome."

She also said, that because a grand jury, who reviewed the video in December, decided there should be no criminal charges, she expected this outcome from the WPD internal investigation.

Maxwell went on to explain the WPD's decision to have an outside source examine to the K9 unit is a good idea.

"It appears that might be needed, and while this was an isolated incident, I applaud the WPD for reviewing and making sure it remains an isolated incident," said Maxwell.

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