Officers return to duty after bus station beating

Jeffery Alan Cox (Image courtesy Fayetteville Police Department)

January 18, 2012 3:28:27 PM PST
The six Fayetteville police officers placed on administrative duty after a beating at a bus station are now back on patrol. ABC11 has learned the decision to return them to duty came in part after a review of the bus station's security video.

The six officers, including one line supervisor, had been on administrative desk duty since Dec. 29. That's the day after the New Jersey man was beaten unconscious because police say he resisted arrest.

The incident happened inside the Fayetteville Greyhound bus station. According to eyewitnesses, the six officers repeatedly beat 56-year-old Jeffrey Cox with their hands and batons after he allegedly resisted arrest.

Police say a Taser was used on Cox several times but that didn't allow them to gain control of him.

Relatives say Cox suffers from mental illness and that he was making numerous 911 calls from the bus station. Police were called to the station to get him off the phone and that's when the encounter took place.

Fayetteville police say the officers were returned to full duty after an initial review of the investigation by the Fayetteville Police Department's internal affairs and the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

"Both investigations didn't yield any findings that we felt the officers would be culpable for at this early stage," said police spokesman Gary Womble. "We met with the district attorney, who was briefed of our findings, and we didn't see any reason to hold our officers in an administrative duty status. It was easier and smarter to return them to full duty."

District Attorney Billy West told ABC 11 he was briefed on the initial finds. However, he's waiting for the final report to decide if any charges will be filed against the officers.

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