A settlement has been reached in a federal lawsuit filed by a Roanoke Rapids police officer against the city and its police department.
Federal court records show that Daniel W. Jenkins, the officer who filed the lawsuit, sent a letter to the clerk of court filed Monday which said, “We have reached an amicable agreement and I would like to seek to have the case dismissed at the judge’s discretion. The agreement reached and the nondisclosure agreement satisfactorily brings this matter to a close.”
Today presiding Judge Richard E. Myers II signed an order directing the clerk of court to close the case.
“(The) plaintiff states that he and the defendants have reached an amicable agreement and (he) would like to seek to have the case closed … Finding no impropriety in this request, the court grants the plaintiff’s motion and directs the clerk of court to close this case,” the order by Myers says.
Documents filed in the court record do not speak to terms of the settlement. rrspin.com has requested under North Carolina general statutes which address settlements the terms of the agreement.
City Attorney Geoffrey Davis said in response to the action, "I can confirm that the lawsuit Lieutenant Jenkins initiated against the city has been dismissed. I am under the impression that all parties consider this matter resolved amicably. Lieutenant Jenkins remains employed by the city of Roanoke Rapids, and as such, I do not think it would be appropriate to comment any further."
The initial lawsuit had named former Roanoke Rapids police Chief Chuck Hasty and District Attorney Valerie Asbell as defendants in the case.
Early on in the proceedings, both Hasty and Asbell were dismissed as defendants.
Hasty, who is now the Enfield police chief, would only say today, “I can’t comment on any legal proceedings that don’t involve me. I was dismissed both professionally and personally with prejudice a while back. The settlement is between him (Jenkins) and the city of Roanoke Rapids.”
The heart of the lawsuit goes back to July 28 of 2018 when Jenkins was employed as a canine handler with the Roanoke Rapids Police Department and was called to the scene where a person was stopped for a tail light violation. The driver had a pistol which was within his immediate reach.
Jenkins was called to the scene when the driver asked for a supervisor and, according to the lawsuit, both he and the responding officer who made the traffic stop, after several times demanding the person exit the vehicle, attempted to remove the individual.
The lawsuit claims after several attempts by the officers a decision was made to deploy the dog, which bit the driver’s ear causing minor injury.
The lawsuit says the next day Hasty, now police chief in Enfield, had an officer review the matter for excessive use of force. That officer’s opinion was that Jenkins’ actions showed no wrongdoing.
The lawsuit claims Hasty chose to ignore the finding and complete a second review.