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SWIFTON, Ark. – The police chief in Swifton ended his career over the weekend with a video of him slurring his profanity-filled words to an apparently calm driver. It happened in front of the civilian’s children and family.
At about 9 AM Monday morning, per The Jonesboro Sun, J.R. Moody submitted his resignation as police chief of Swifton. By resigning instead of being fired, his personnel records will remain sealed and exempt from Arkansas Freedom of Information Act law.
But the man who was on the receiving end of the tirade said that isn’t enough. He wants Moody to never again be a police officer.
The video was taken on Saturday and viewed 36,000 times as of this story. In it, then-Swifton Police Chief Moody is in a verbal disagreement with Steven Parker. Parker is in the driver’s seat as his wife films. He said his vehicle had his children in it, too.
Moody slurs his words to the observer but beyond that, Parker said he was clearly intoxicated – and driving. Despite the alleged-drunken man using profanities at another in front of his children, Parker said he could not get Jackson County authorities to “uphold their oath.” He said it took an hour of calling to finally get a unit and by then, Moody was long gone.
Police routinely protect their own from consequences under the practice of “professional courtesy,” although NEA Report does not yet have explicit evidence of that occurring here.
Roughly one day after the video was published online, the City of Swifton’s Facebook page referenced it with multiple posts between Sunday and Monday.
By allowing Moody to resign, the city allowed his personal records to remain sealed. With several others alleging Moody misbehaved while wearing his badge on the city’s page, it could shield the disgraced-man from consequences.
“Not really an isolated thing for him,” wrote Scott Bounds. “Just the first time we are seeing video footage. He left scars on my wrist and told me he turned his body cam off when he assaulted me. I am very excited for my upcoming court date. Guess he is just as awful off duty as he is on duty.”
Others questioned the city about an officer who allegedly refused to come take the report.
It’s not enough for the man who was on the receiving end of the profanity-filled tirade, though. Parker made several posts throughout Monday saying he is planning on pursuing whatever legal action he may have at his disposal.
Swifton moved their city council meeting to Monday night, 7 PM, in order to address the hot topic created by the former chief’s behavior.
One of our readers, Stefanie Beard, attended the meeting and shared this.
I attended the meeting. I felt like the city did a great job at handling a very difficult situation. They acted very professional and listened to each and every concern that the citizens had. They issued a verbal apology to Steven Parker and his family and I felt like that was needed and was glad they did that. I feel like our city officials will learn from this and be able to better serve the people. – Stefanie Beard
Tuesday/9 AM Update:
Heather Ann Parker also attended Monday’s impromptu council meeting. She had good cause, since she was there when it happened. Steven is her husband. She did not feel the city’s response to the suspected intoxicated state of the former chief was adequate.
In addition, a new report in Tuesday’s edition of The Sun indicates Moody did not tender his resignation until sometime around 9 AM on Monday. A Sun reporter asked the mayor if he had forced Moody to resign and the mayor didn’t answer the question.