Arkansas Trooper Who Arrested Journalist Suspended, Reassigned

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The Arkansas State Police have suspended a trooper who arrested a news photographer and the agency has transferred the trooper out of the Highway Patrol Division. State police state spokesman Bill Sadler says Trooper Tom Weindruch was suspended for two days without pay and was transferred to the Administrative Services Division in Little Rock.

Stephens Media photographer Bill Lawson was arrested December 10th by Weindruch at the scene of a house fire in Maumelle, prompting Lawson to file a complaint against Weindruch. Lawson was arrested and handcuffed, then released at the scene with a citation for obstructing government operations. Prosecutors quickly dropped the charge. Lawson complained that Weindruch was abusive.

A state police panel concluded that Lawson’s accusations could not be proven, but state police director Colonel Winford Phillips chose to discipline Weindruch anyway. The colonel says Weindruch showed poor judgment and that Weindruch’s actions harmed the reputation of the Arkansas State Police.

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