SMYRNA, Tenn. (WSMV) -- An officer with the Smyrna Police Dept. received a 10-day, unpaid suspension after he was investigated for racially profiling a teenager earlier this month.
The girl's family reported him to the Town of Smyrna on Dec. 14, prompting an internal investigation into the officer's conduct by the police department.
According to police officials, Officer James Hicks stopped the 13-year-old girl walking to her home in the Legacy subdivision on Dec. 1.
Officer Hicks was patrolling the neighborhood when he saw the girl walking across several residential properties "in unusually close proximity to private homes and porches."
When Hicks stopped to interrogate the girl, officials determined that he failed to use his lapel microphone for audio outside the vehicle. However, another officer arrived after initial contact with the teenager and recorded some parts of the encounter.
After their investigation, Smyrna officials determined that Hicks also "failed to communicate professionally with the juvenile's parent."
In addition to a 10-day, unpaid suspension, Hicks was demoted as a field training officer and will be required to undergo additional training.
The Town of Smyrna released the following statement in regards to Hick's suspension:
"The Town administration expects adherence to its policies and is resolute in maintaining the trust of its citizens; regardless of age, race, gender or nationality. Any complaint alleging violations of policy or professionalism is investigated and addressed in a timely manner in order to continue this trust with all of our residents. Additionally, the Town strives to be proactive through training and instruction. The Smyrna Police Department requires annual training through the Just and Fair Policing program of the State of Tennessee, as well as Diversity/Sensitivity training proctored by the Human Resources’ Department. Ultimately, the municipality seeks to serve all of its citizens in a professional, courteous and safe manner."