Officers punished: including one who shot Eppard
One of the Albemarle County Police officers who shot Colby W. Eppard has left his job as part of a shakeup that appears to have resulted in the demotion of two other officers and a multi-week suspension for the Department's top spokesperson, Lt. Todd Hopwood.
The information comes in response to a Freedom of Information request filed by NBC29 and fulfilled by County spokesperson Lee Catlin, who indicates that the officer who left, Caleb Marden, departed March 2. No cause was cited, but NBC29 asserts that at least one of the punished officers engaged in "inappropriate" behavior "while on the clock," but the media outlet did not offer any specifics.
The recently demoted officers are Caroline Morris and Scott Cox, the latter of whom worked the cardboard fake bomb case at two Western Albemarle Schools in 2007. Hopwood, whose automatic email responder indicates he'll return to work April 13, is a 19-year department veteran who has served as chief spokesperson for about two years.
Caleb Marden is one of seven officers from three jurisdictions who opened fire on 18-year-old car theft suspect Colby W. Eppard on New Year's Day after the young man led authorities on what appears to be an approximately 70-mile pursuit through three counties. Dashcam videos of the incident requested by the media have yet to be released.
Police Chief John Miller, who has not immediately returned a phone call, and County spokesperson Catlin referred all questions to the County attorney (not to the chief, as originally reported).
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