Bond hearing set in Smyrna cop’s domestic-violence case
by Kim Isaza
December 13, 2012 02:00 PM | 5250 views | 13 13 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Darryl L. Whitfield
Darryl L. Whitfield
slideshow

Update: 12/13 2 p.m.

Whitfield is now scheduled for a bond condition hearing at 9 a.m. Friday in Cobb State Court, according to the Solicitor General’s Office. Whitfield’s attorney, Bert Cohen, said his client insists he is innocent. “The least we’re asking for is contact,” he said regarding the bond conditions. “Husband and wife want to have contact.”

SMYRNA — A Smyrna police officer facing misdemeanor domestic-violence charges was set to return to full duty Wednesday night — until the department learned that having a firearm violates conditions of his bond.

Until Wednesday, Officer Darryl L. Whitfield had been on paid administrative leave since his Nov. 24 arrest by Cobb Police.

He faces misdemeanor charges of simple assault, simple battery, cruelty to children in the third degree, and obstructing or hindering persons making an emergency telephone call stemming from the November incident involving his wife and child at his home.

Cobb Solicitor General Barry Morgan said Wednesday that those charges are still pending and that a first appearance hearing has been set for Jan. 18 in Cobb State Court.

Smyrna Police Chief Stan Hook said he, the city administrator and others decided to return Whitfield to duty after Whitfield’s wife told Hook that Whitfield had never hit her.

Hook, who said he hired Whitfield eight years ago, said he had “no qualms at all” about returning an officer who is facing criminal charges to duty.

“It isn’t just something I casually addressed,” Hook said. “His wife and I spoke, and she said he’s never hit her.”

Hook said if Whitfield is ultimately convicted, “we’ll address it at that time.”

“To be charged is one thing. To be convicted is another,” Hook said.

Department officials gave Whitfield back his firearm on Monday, and then learned on Wednesday afternoon that his having a firearm violated the bond conditions, Officer Michael Smith said.

Whitfield returned the firearm to the department late Wednesday afternoon, Smith said. He is no longer on suspension and is using his paid annual leave, Smith said.

An Internal Affairs investigation notes that Whitfield was adamant that he had not hurt his wife and said they were simply going through a bad divorce. But his wife told investigators that before the Nov. 24 incident, he had put a handgun in between the sheets on their bed, and also that “their domestic violence issues began around 15 years ago when D. Whitfield put a gun to her head a couple of times.”

Investigators suggested to Chief Hook in the IA report that Whitfield may have violated the department’s code of ethics standards of keeping his private life unsullied as an example to all, and being exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my Department.

According to his arrest warrant, police were called to Whitfield’s home on Sweet Springs Drive in Powder Springs at 1 p.m. on Nov. 24. Whitfield’s wife told police he had threatened to kill her and then himself, and threatened to kill their son if his wife would not go into a bedroom with Whitfield.

The couple’s 11-year-old son called police, and according to the warrant: “Victim was visibly shaking and whispered to said Juvenile son to call 911. Said accused did take the phone out of said Juvenile son’s hand and told the 911 dispatcher that there was nothing wrong and to not send the police.”

The warrant says that between Nov. 12 and Nov. 24, Whitfield had attacked his wife because he was angry that she put a password on her phone.

“Accused did grab said victim by her hair and did force her to the ground,” the warrant states. “Accused did punch said victim in her left arm, left torso and left thigh. Said accused then did place one hand around said victim’s neck and strangled her until their Juvenile son entered the room and begged said accused to stop.”

The child-cruelty charge stems from the boy witnessing the violence against his mother, according to the warrant.

Whitfield was released from Cobb Jail on $11,220 bond hours after his arrest.

Mayor Max Bacon said Wednesday that he was unaware that Whitfield may be returned to duty.

“That’s done by the Chief and the city administrator,” Bacon said.

As for whether he would approve of having a police officer who is facing criminal charges on duty, Bacon said that in general, he would not.

“As a rule of thumb, I think it would be uncomfortable for both the employer and the employee,” Bacon said. “But I don’t know all of the details.”

Comments
(13)
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Victim of McDuffie
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January 09, 2013
This clown and Cleveland McDuffie belong together. Stay out of Smyrna, people. I was told long ago, when I first moved there, "It's the most crooked police department in the state". I found out the hard way.
mk- stalking
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December 14, 2012
I am being stalked online by my (married) neighbor. It is to the point I feel threatened.

FYI, stalker, I will be filing a police report.

Why don't you take care of your wife & 2 children & quite obsessing about me?
anonymous
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December 14, 2012
MK, you are paranoid. You attributed a few posts I made to a man, and I am a woman and I don't know you or Max Bacon. And I most certainly am not stalking you. If you make repeated derogatory comments on a public web site, it is not stalking for anyone to comment with rebuttal to your comments. If you don't want feedback, then don't post publicly. And get happy! Be positive! Hey, isn't the Silver Comet Trail GREAT? Surely you can agree on that one!
Can I Get A Witness
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December 14, 2012
MK you are being stalked. You have a right to comment but he doesn't have the right to engage in this behavior. Back to Bacon. He CAN NOT sit in judgement of this man. Birds of a feather.
know too much
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December 14, 2012
bacon & whitfield are members of the same club
Brandy112
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December 14, 2012
I just don't understand how this domestic violence case can be considered a misdemeanor. He is a LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER who knows what he can and can't do, both morally and legally. Maybe if they made domestic violence cases a felony people would think twice before hitting their partner. Another thing, now she's saying he never hit her? They should charge her with filing a false police report and giving false statements. Just saying...
Wait a Minute
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December 13, 2012
Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? The fact that they are going through a divorce tells me that there is more to the story.
anonymous
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December 14, 2012
Since when does a mayor have authority over a police department? How can you link the mayor to this situation? That is like pairing the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. This article is about the police department and the police officer. The mayor has zilch to do with it.
dustoff
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December 13, 2012
If you were in the private sector and had these charges pending you would be unemployed, no if ands or butts.

And if a sworn officer of the law did the things he is charged with do you really thing he is qualified to enforce the law and carry a weapon?

Smyrna officials need to take of the rose colored glasses and be pee tested.
Just Wait
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December 13, 2012
Come on Smyrna, you can't put a police officer back on the street with that type of charge pending! He can't be effective and every case he makes would be suspect. And of anyone, a police department suddenly learns someone on bond cannot have a weapon? Please
Not On My Force
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December 13, 2012
If Officer Whitfield's history of violence and intimidation is true I certainly don't want him on my police force. In fact, why was he hired in the first place. How many times will he be allowed to commit domestic violence to make it an issue? Putting his gun to his wife's head once was enough to disqualify him from my force.
mk-dishonest city
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December 13, 2012
Bacon says he doesn't know the details,...right!

He's always in the dark,.. knows nothing!

After 26 years,..in the dark, confused, disillusioned,.. doesn't know that his city is a vacant poverty zone.

Well, Bacon,.. quality businesses , affluent people & good development sure know! They clearly won't do business in this corrupt city!

See Vinings & Sandy Springs.

The citizens of Smyrna might as well turn their house deeds over to the king, cos they're worth pennies on the dollar!!



sick of mk
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December 13, 2012
thanks Mary. please move
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