City leaders have released few details about the case - including the officer's identity, citing personnel privacy laws. When contacted by ABC11 Eyewitness News, the police department would neither confirm nor deny the officer's employment, saying his status is part of an ongoing investigation.
It was a tipster who first alerted ABC11 about the internal probe. Following several media inquiries last month, Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez issued a statement acknowledging there was a "criminal and administrative investigation into possible misconduct of a Durham Police officer." Lopez also said the department initiated the investigation, but stopped short of confirming whether any other law enforcement agencies were assisting.
The mystery surrounding the internal probe has fueled some speculation about unsubstantiated claims of illegal activity. The police chief has urged the news media to refrain from reporting those details, promising to reveal more about the case once the investigation is complete.