Moniteau County Sheriff Tony Wheatley last week detailed internal disciplinary action taken against a deputy following an incident involving a member of the public.
A note from Wheatley posted on the Moniteau County Sheriff's Office's Facebook page detailed the incident, which took place early on May 27. According to the release, a deputy had an encounter with a citizen who he knew from prior instances involving other deputies. As the citizen asked the deputy about posted speed limits in California, the deputy allegedly responded to the citizen using profane language and walked into the office. According to the release, that incident was self-reported when the deputy entered the office; he said the incident was recorded on his body camera, and acknowledged he should not have reacted in such a manner, per the release.
Wheatley reported he opened an internal investigation regarding the incident when he viewed the body cam footage May 27. That investigation concluded June 1, according to the release, after which the deputy was placed on probation and disciplinary actions were taken.
"This is an unfortunate incident that should not have happened," Wheatley wrote in the release. "The deputy involved, no matter what the prior circumstances were, should not have reacted in that manner."
The release details that the citizen involved in the incident returned to the sheriff's office the following day, May 28, to submit a Sunshine Law request for the body cam footage and a copy of the Moniteau County Sheriff's Office policy manual. Per the release, the citizen didn't mention the incident, nor did they file a complaint against the deputy.
Wheatley alleged the citizen involved in the incident has in the past reportedly followed Moniteau sheriff's deputies around California while on patrol and into local businesses, and has shown up at vehicle stops to record them.
"The job of a deputy is stressful enough without having to worry about a citizen continually following them around or following them into local businesses making unsavory comments towards them," Wheatley wrote.