3 Pigeon Forge police officers fired for discussing killing fellow officers

6:19 AM, Jul 3, 2013   |    comments
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  • Jefferson Thigpen
  • Trinity Brown
  • Michael Musgrove
    
 PDF Document: pigeon forge officers transcript

(WBIR-Pigeon Forge, Tn) Three Pigeon Forge Police officers have been fired, after an investigation uncovered a recording of the three men talking about killing fellow officers.

According to Police Chief Jack Baldwin, Trinity Brown, Jefferson Thigpen, and Michael Musgrove were terminated for conduct incompatible with continued employment.  Criminal charges will not be filed because "no overt action had been taken".

"Officers on the force must know that every other officer supports them," Baldwin said.

The investigation that led to the officers dismissal began on June 7, when they were dispatched to check on the welfare of a visitor to Pigeon Forge.  They spoke with the girlfriend of that person, and obtained her personal information, including her cell phone number.  A short time later, she said started receiving text messages and a Facebook friend request that she suspected came from the officers.

She filed a harassment complaint with the police department on June 9.

During that investigation, a supervisor reviewed police cruiser recordings, and heard the three officers discussing a plan to kill other officers in the department.  Chief Baldwin said it appeared that it was not the first discussion about the topic.

After hearing the recordings, Chief Baldwin called each officer in for a meeting on June 19.

 "Each officer was asked individually whether he had discussed
harming or killing another officer or officers. All three said they had not," Baldwin said.

The three officers were then suspended without pay for conduct unbecoming an officer.

"Suspending them and subsequently terminating their employment were warranted, both because of the recorded discussion they had about killing other officers and because they lied about it when confronted," Baldwin said.

The district attorney general's office investigated the recordings, and determined that criminal charges would not be pursued.

Brown had been with the department since 1999.  Thigpen was hired in 2005, and Musgrove had been on the force since 2009.

Brown had been in trouble once before. In 2004, he recieved a written and verbal reprimand for losing drugs after an arrest. According to the memorandum, "Officer Trinity Brown arrested a female for Possession of Schedule IV Drug. He seized what he thought to be three (3) tablets of Xanax. Sometime after teh arrest Trinity los the drugs before they were entered into evidence. Proper handling and preservation of evidence is a serious policy violation. The arrested person has alaredy been charged however there is little evidence for prosecution."

Chief Baldwin said Brown also failed to meet with a HR Administrator and did not show foro a court hearing in General Sessions Court.

There are 54 officers working for the Pigeon Forge Police Department.

 
Previous story

(WBIR-Pigeon Forge) June 20, 2013.  The Pigeon Forge Police Department suspended three officers without pay on Wednesday during an internal investigation into their behavior.

Police Chief Jack Baldwin said the department is investigating a complaint of behavior unbecoming to an officer.

The complaint was registered with the department on June 9. Authorities aren't releasing any details about the complaint or how long the investigation could take.

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