An Alpharetta police detective was fired after an internal affairs investigation determined that he “grossly mishandled evidence” during a drug raid and was “untruthful” about it.
The incident occurred on Oct. 3 while the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety was assisting the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office in a raid, according to documents obtained by Channel 2 Action News. Following an investigation, Shawn Chapman was fired.
According to the report, Chapman “began to act strangely” when he found a stack of cash during the raid at a house in Cumming, where officers also recovered drugs and guns.
James Drinkard, the assistant city administrator for Alpharetta, told Channel 2 that money was recovered during that raid, but the money went missing “momentarily” and was found to be in the possession of Chapman “which drew some questions.”
The conclusion of the investigation report obtained by Channel 2 found that Chapman had taken $4,000 into a bathroom with him after he found it in a nightstand. However, Chapman didn’t tell anyone he found the money until after he exited the bathroom 25 minutes later. Unknown to Chapman, another detective had already found the money, photographed it and left it in the nightstand for collections.
The investigation also concluded that Chapman “perhaps had nefarious intentions,” and found several facts in his statements to be untrue.
When Chapman exited the bathroom with the money, he told detectives there was a pair of pants stuffed in the top of the toilet tank. But, another detective had used the bathroom before Chapman and checked the tank and there were no pants there. Also, when other detectives on the scene checked the pants Chapman described, they were still partially dry.
Chapman told investigators he had to use the bathroom during the raid and said, that “he didn’t want to leave the money out and he wanted to impress his lieutenant with his discovery,” the report said. “Hence, he took the money into the toilet closet with him and sat it on the ground next to his gun.”
The investigation found that Chapman violated four code of conduct policies for the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety.
The GBI cleared Chapman of any wrongdoing and said he didn’t break the law, Drinkard said. Still, the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety fired him.
“The public has to have faith in our integrity,” Drinkard said. “And when that is called into question we have to respond in a serious way.”
According to Chapman’s LinkedIn page, he worked for Alpharetta police as a detective for one year, from January to December in 2017. Before that he worked for the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office for six years.
Drinkard said the department has reported the termination to the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council which certifies police officers in Georgia. It’s director, Ken Vance, told Channel 2 that the office has opened a separate inquiry into the matter.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reached out to a lawyer, Jill Irvin, who is representing Chapman, but has not received a response.
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