Former Metro officer speaks out after cleared of abuse claims
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -
A former Metro police officer said his superiors "rushed to judgement" when he was accused of domestic assault.
Andre Johnson was acquitted of all the charges against him, and the former officer's attorney contends the accuser lied.
Now, while he's been cleared of wrongdoing, Johnson has no job to go back to and questions whether his own department gave him a fair shake.
Johnson admits he was far from a model police officer. He had been written up many times for various infractions on the job, but when he was accused of hitting his wife he said it became clear he was quickly presumed guilty.
"My side of the story was never told," Johnson said. "I think if they had properly investigated it from the start, I don't think it would have escalated to this point."
Johnson was arrested twice in October 2012 after his wife took out separate warrants, claiming he'd attacked her.
"I've never hit her," Johnson said.
Johnson and his wife had been living together for almost a year. Then, when he decided to get a divorce, he said she made up stories of abuse and her bruises, he claims, were self-inflicted.
Johnson was charged with domestic assault but claims detectives didn't do a full investigation.
"The police never talked to any of the neighbors. She claimed that this incident occurred outside and she was screaming at the top of her lungs for somebody to help her," Johnson said.
However, in the case file, Channel 4 News found police did interview hospital staff and his wife's co-workers.
Detectives also say that in the past, three ex-girlfriends had come forward accusing Johnson of intimidation or physical abuse, but domestic violence detectives said he was "never convicted."
In this case, Johnson said all he wanted was a disciplinary hearing before the chief to present alibi witnesses.
But his attorney said the deputy chief made it clear, considering Johnson's disciplinary record from the past 24 years on the force, after a hearing Johnson would be fired regardless.
Johnson said he decided to resign in order to get early retirement benefits, not because he felt any guilt.
This month, after a trial, Johnson was found not guilty of domestic assault as the judge found there was not enough evidence for a conviction.
Channel 4 News was unable to reach Johnson's wife for comment on this story.
Metro police officials said they did not force Johnson to resign and point out the witnesses he wanted to bring to the hearing were not actual witnesses to the alleged incidents.
Johnson also said that despite his acquittal, he doesn't want his job back.
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