Deputies demoted in dizzy bat incident have privileges restored

Deputies demoted in dizzy bat incident have privileges restored

Posted:
Jeff Bryant (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Jeff Bryant (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)
Brian Rehg (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Brian Rehg (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)
Brad Cox (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Brad Cox (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Three Knox County deputies who were demoted in the wake of a 2011 traffic stop incident have had their privileges restored as deputies.

According to the Knox County Sheriff's Office, deputies Brian Rehg, Jeff Bryant, and Brad Cox have now been recertified.

The three, along with two other deputies, were demoted in October 2011 after an investigation into a traffic stop.

During that incident, one of the deputies pulled over a 19-year-old driver for allegedly squealing or spinning his tires on Emory Road.

Four other deputies arrived on the scene and offered the driver a deal - spin around with his head on a baseball bat, also called 'dizzy bat', and the deputies would reduce the citations from three to one.

The incident was captured on a dashboard camera in a deputy cruiser.

Following that incident, Sheriff Jimmy J.J. Jones demoted all five men involved. They lost police powers, their firearms, received a cut in pay, and were no longer able to drive home vehicles.

They were also reassigned from patrol duties to corrections.

On Tuesday, the sheriff announced that the three deputies involved that remain on the force - Brian Rehg, Jeff Bryant, and Brad Cox - have regained their privileges.

Another deputy, Alex Slate, resigned in June 2012. The last deputy, Jason Acuff, is on medical leave.

Sheriff Jones said Rehg, Bryant and Cox will remain in corrections and will still not have access to drive home vehicles.

The change in status will now enable the deputies to work side jobs and to regain their firearms.

They are also now eligible to apply for any open patrol positions.

The sheriff said before they are allowed back on patrol, they will have to participate in the field training program.

Sheriff Jones said the men had paid their debt and he felt it was time to give them another opportunity.

They will be scrutinized more than any other officers and they understand they will not be given another chance, Jones said in a news release.

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