The DeRidder police officer who tendered his resignation amid an internal investigation into his social media activity has been identified as William Reed, employed by the department for just over two years, according to officials.
In an exclusive interview with Police Chief Craig Richard and Mayor Misty Clanton, two complaints were disclosed to the American Press having been filed against the officer on Friday, June 12. The complaints were filed by two separate women who claim to have been pulled over by Reed on the same day, and then received friend requests from him shortly after. One of the complainants has been confirmed as having been a minor at the time of the incident.
Both women claim to have had no history or knowledge of Reed or had any interactions with him prior to their traffic stop, Clanton said. Both women claimed the requests had been received in a short time after the stops.
According to Clanton, the city took immediate action in regards to the complaints and on Monday, June 15, the complainants and their families met with District Attorney James Lestage, alongside Clanton and Richard, to discuss the incidents.
On June 16, Reed was called in by Richard and placed on administrative leave pending the internal investigation.
Department policy, according to Richard, allows for an officer under investigation to have 30 days to choose to waive or obtain counsel before being subject to interviews or counseling regarding the allegations against them; however within hours Richard said Reed submitted his resignation.
Richard said despite the officer’s resignation, the investigation will continue.
“At this point we are continuing to see if this officer’s actions were in violation of department policy and if any criminal activity occurred,” Richard said.
While Reed does at this time have the right to seek employment with other law enforcement agencies, once completed the investigation file will remain on his record and will be filed with Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council in Baton Rouge, who Richard said has already been notified of the matter.
According to department records, Reed was hired by the DeRidder Police Department in May 2018, and had only one other infraction on his officer record that involved an at-fault vehicle accident while on duty that occurred in January of 2019.
Clanton said she intends to maintain transparency throughout the investigation.
“The integrity of the department is a top priority. It is incredibly important to the city that the public feels comfortable with the law enforcement officers entrusted with their safety. We will investigate this matter to be sure that nothing criminal has occurred and that we have a complete file on the matter,” she said.