The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation has been asked to investigate the Kenly Police Department. Kenly Town Manager Michael Douglas confirmed this afternoon (Wednesday) the SBI was asked Tuesday to conduct a criminal investigation.
Douglas said the Elizabeth City Police Department was initially requested to conduct an “initial administrative investigation” this week. Based on those findings, a “criminal investigation” was requested Tuesday. Douglas said the police chief or district attorney has the authority to request the NC SBI conduct the criminal investigation. The town manager declined to say if Police Chief Josh Gibson or Johnston County District Attorney Susan Doyle made the request.
“I have no comment on anything else. Staff is not allowed to mention this to the general public,” Douglas said by telephone on Wednesday. “We don’t comment on ongoing or pending investigations.”
On Tuesday, Kenly town councilman Trinity Henderson posted on his Facebook page, “Yesterday, I learned that, at the request of our Town Manager, the Elizabeth City Police Department is conducting a major internal affairs investigation on the Kenly Police Department. Based on the information I have obtained, the investigation concerns alleged behavior such as falsifying police reports and illegal searches.”
“I know several of the Kenly Police officers personally and I would be extremely surprised if these allegations were true. With that being said, no police officer (or anyone else) is beyond reproach and all creditable allegations of wrongdoing must be addressed and investigated. Hopefully this investigation will exonerate our officers and not result in another embarrassment for our town,” Henderson wrote.
JoCoReport reached out to the Elizabeth City Police Department. Sgt. Latoya Flanigan, who is in charge of the Internal Affairs division, declined to comment and referred all questions to Kenly Town Manager Douglas.
Reached Wednesday afternoon, District Attorney Susan Doyle confirmed a joint request was made by her office and the Kenly Police Chief to the NC SBI. Doyle declined to say specifically what alleged wrongdoing the SBI has been asked to investigate.