An investigation is underway following the recent handling of the Jasper Police Department’s arrest of a Jasper woman. Keyarika Diggles was arrested earlier this month for an unpaid traffic ticket. However, it was the handling of Diggles while she was being booked into the Jasper City Jail by Officers Ricky Grissom and Ryan Cunningham that is being investigated.
Meanwhile, Jasper Mayor Mike Lout announced shortly before 11:00 Thursday morning that he had a long meeting with Police Captain Gerald Hall, and he requested that the officers be immediately placed on administrative leave, with pay, pending the outcome of the investigation. Lout said Hall agreed, and the officers have been pulled from their patrol duties.
Mayor Lout explained that the officers will still be on the payroll because they have not, at this point, been convicted of any crime.
Shortly after 11:00 on Thursday morning, Captain Hall said that Diggles has, so far, not filed an official complaint with the department against the officers.
However, Hall pointed out that the department began its own investigation, regardless, because there was a use of force against Diggles.
Hall explained that anytime an officer places his/her hands on a person, a use of force form is filed by the officer, and the department conducts an investigation in every case.
The incident became public on Wednesday afternoon. Jasper Mayor Mike Lout confirmed that the incident occurred, but he said that he didn’t see a report on the case, or a video of the incident until late Wednesday afternoon.
Lout said that he plans on calling a special meeting of Jasper City Council to address the situation. According to Lout, the meeting is set for 9:00 Monday morning; however, he said the meeting will take place sooner if he can find a way to legally do so.
Lout said he wants council to address the issue as soon as possible, and he even looked at the possibility of calling an emergency meeting of council, but this situation didn't fall under the guidelines of an emergency meeting.
Lout went on to say that he wants to assure the people of Jasper that the incident will be thoroughly investigated, and truth and justice will prevail.