Police charge Clayton woman claiming officer assault

ndunn@newsobserver.comMay 2, 2014 

A Clayton woman who accused police of assault is facing false reporting charges after authorities say video evidence refutes her claims.

Clayton Police stopped Shane Davis and Rosanna Laird, of 216 Korat Lane, shortly after midnight April 19, while the husband and wife were driving home from a local restaurant.

After performing a field sobriety test, officers arrested Davis, 31, for drunken driving and took him to jail. Laird, also 31, stayed at the scene.

When officers determined Laird was also too intoxicated to drive, Officer Bailey Pope drove Laird home, said Stacy Beard, the Town of Clayton’s public information officer.

However later that morning, at 6:25 a.m., Laird filed an incident report with different Clayton Police officers. She said an unnamed male officer shoved her to the ground during the traffic stop, after Davis was taken away.

While attempts to contact Laird were unsuccessful, Davis sent the News-Star an email at 8 p.m. on April 19, describing what his wife said happened at the crime scene. The email included photos of a large gash above Laird’s lip.

“A male officer questioned her for a short time, (and) then (she) says he placed his hand on her shoulder and shoved her down into the asphalt, busting up her face,” Davis said in the email. He said his wife needed stitches on multiple parts of her face, including where a part of her tooth penetrated the skin.

Clayton Police launched an investigation into Laird’s claims over the weekend. On Monday, Chief R.W. Bridges said video obtained from Pope’s patrol car shows Laird had no injuries when she was taken home.

“It clearly shows her face, and she is fine,” Bridges said.

Bridges said the department investigates every complaint, especially allegations involving officer misconduct.

“The initial investigation into this matter was labor intensive and caused us to use resources that would have better served the public in other ways,” Bridges said in a statement. “It is detrimental when someone knowingly takes resources away from citizens for a purpose they know is false.”

Clayton Police has obtained a warrant to charge Laird with filing a false police report, Beard confirmed.

It’s still unclear how Laird injured her face. Davis said he knows his wife was fine when officers took him to the police station.

“I don’t know exactly what happened,” Davis said. “I left her in the car with the police, but when I came back from the police station, she was all busted up.”

Dunn: 919-553-7234 ext. 104

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