Erik Sammis' personnel file released - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Paranjape

Erik Sammis' personnel file released

Eric Sammis Eric Sammis

Friday, officials released the complete personnel file of West Memphis police officer Erik Sammis. 

Sammis, a ten-year veteran of the West Memphis Police Department, found himself in a firestorm of controversy after shooting to death a 12-year-old boy.  The boy, who Sammis thought was a threat, was allegedly carrying a toy gun.
 
In searching through Sammis' file, there are several incidents in his past that catch the reader's attention.

The first was in 1994, when Sammis was fired from the North Little Rock Police Department for a policy violation.

From North Little Rock, Sammis went to work for the Gould, Arkansas Police Department, and then was hired by West Memphis in 1996.
  
Two years later, Sammis was suspended without pay for three days for being involved in a traffic accident.
  
Then, in 1999, the file shows Sammis had a confrontation with his supervisor.  The report states his supervisor asked Sammis to change into a normal patrol uniform from his battle dress uniform, because his K-9 partner would be out of service for several months.  The supervisor states Sammis became loud and belligerent and said, "If you don't like the way I'm dressed, send me home."
 
As a result, Sammis received a one day suspension without pay for conduct unbecoming an officer.
  
Other than those incidents, Sammis was given high marks and excellent evaluations for his work.  He was given promotions and pay increases.

In March of 2007, he was transferred from the narcotics division to the training division.

Then, Assistant Police Chief Mike Allen called him an outstanding training officer and the best qualified person for the job.

Also released was the personnel file of the officer that was with Sammis the night of the shooting.  The only incident in his file happened when he was suspended one day without pay for being late.  His identity has not been released.

Both officers remain on paid leave pending an investigation into the shooting.


Click here to email Nick Paranjape.

For more about Erik Sammis, including an exclusive interview with the officer conducted by Action News 5's Janice Broach, visit the video player to the right of this story.

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