FROM BILL LAWSON
filed the official complaint today with the Arkansas State Police's internal affairs unit. They interviewed me for 45 minutes. They asked some tough questions to see if I had any ongoing beefs with other troopers, any alcohol or drug use, mental problems, any grudges or to see if I had an agenda.
They took the complaint seriously and acted as professional as every trooper I've ever known except for the one I met Monday evening.
I explained my long history of working with troopers back to my days working for Dale and Betty Bumpers as the national guard PR guy promoting their childhood immunization campaign, as a guy who wrote a column in April 2006 explaining what the Thin Blue Line meant and why so many policemen turn out for a fellow officer's funeral after I attended the services in Searcy for my friend Sgt. Troy Mouser who died out on a roadblock. I explained how the Arkansas State Police Association reprinted the column in their summer edition of their magazine.
They asked what I expected to be done to the trooper and I told them that was not my decision but I'd hope that he would learn that journalists have a First Amendment right to cover news and to take photos without abuse, that he would learn to be respectful to the public even if he was writing them a ticket for speeding or whatever and that he needed to learn how to control his anger, perhaps through an anger management class.
I was told that it would take 30 days to complete at least and that they would interview witnesses and the trooper last. They asked if I knew anyone else who had problems with this officer and the ask them to call if they did so they could be interviewed.
I have every confidence in our judicial system and in the current administration in the state police to get to the bottom of this issue and to take appropriate action. I believe that I will be vindicated but I'll wait for their official ruling.