Keith Kirkland had on a blue uniform and showed a police badge and a gun when he approached Meseret Malde’s Lawrenceville home Aug. 27 and demanded title information on a car she sold, police said.
He looked like a cop, and even acted the part, except for one thing: He wasn’t actually an officer.
“Kirkland confirmed to the officer (called to the home) that he was not actively employed by a law enforcement agency, therefore, he does not have police powers,” Gwinnett police Cpl. Wilbert Rundles told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an email.
Kirkland, 32, of Tucker, was arrested Wednesday on an impersonating a public officer charge, according to Gwinnett jail records. Authorities had been searching for him since Sept. 11, when arrest warrants were issued, police confirmed.
According to a police report, Kirkland was working part time for a towing company and was attempting to get a copy of Malde’s driver’s license to resolve an issue with the title of a car she sold in the past.
Rundles said the two did not know each other before this encounter.
While Kirkland is not currently a police officer, he is no stranger to law enforcement. He worked for the DeKalb County Police Department for From April 2012 to June 2013, city officials confirmed. He resigned from the department and spent four years with Emory University police before he was fired, according to his Peace Officer Standards and Training Council record. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has contacted the police department concerning the circumstances behind Kirkland’s firing.
Kirkland’s POST records also indicate he was a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office reserve officer from June 2015 to October 2017.
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