Evidence mounting against Thomaston police officer - CBS46 News


Evidence mounting against Thomaston police officer with nearly 100 complaints

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Officer Phillip Tobin Officer Phillip Tobin

CBS46 received video from a viewer in Thomaston, GA, that allegedly shows a police officer assault a man for no reason.

The video is dated April 26, 2010 and shows a man wearing a red shirt and blue shorts, identified as Elron Holt.

In the video, Holt causally walks through a convenience store when Officer Phillip Tobin suddenly rushes behind him.

Tobin then puts handcuffs on Holt and escorts him out of the store. Tobin is wearing plain clothes and was driving his personal vehicle. CBS46 was told Tobin was off-duty at the time.

Once outside, the video shows Tobin walk Holt around for a minute, then try to slam Holt to the ground.

When that didn't work, you see Tobin grab Holt, who is still handcuffed, by the throat.

"You have a police officer in a police department who is absolutely out of control," said community activist Derrick Boazman.

Boazman, Michael Langford and state Sen. Vincent Fort got involved with the Tobin case in June. That's when surveillance video surfaced that shows Tobin using a stun-gun on a man who had his hands up and did not appear to be resisting arrest.

"As everybody is looking to Ferguson, MO, and how the police have gone too far, right here in Thomaston, GA, we have the same case," said Boazman.

"We have a police officer who has put people in intensive care, broken people's arms, violated people and used excessive force and what he gets is a paid vacation."

Tobin is on paid administrative leave while the Thomaston Police Dept. and the Georgia Bureau of Investigations investigate close to 100 complaints against him.

Community activists asked U.S. Attorney Michael Moore, in Macon, to investigate the entire department.

"We know in the personnel file of this officer is a letter from his supervisor," said Boazman.

Boazman is referring to a memo dated March 18, 2010, in Tobin's personnel file.

Capt. Richard McDaniel investigated a complaint against Tobin filed by a woman who said he used excessive force when he pulled her over for a traffic violation.

McDaniel exonerated Tobin but in his findings he wrote to Chief Dan Greathouse: "Even though my investigation is exonerated, I think if we do not do something with Officer Tobin, then we could be guilty of negligent supervision if we do not at least transfer Officer Tobin to another shift."

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