White Cincinnati police officer Dennis Barnette was suspended after he reportedly used the n-word while trying to place a black woman under arrest, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
The paper said it obtained emails between Cincinnati Police Chief Col. Eliot Isaac and Cincinnati City Manager Patrick Duhaney that say Barnette can be heard on the body cam of a fellow officer using the slur.
Barnette was allegedly pushed by the woman when he tried to place her under arrest during a traffic control call at a Cincinnati nightclub Saturday, Dec. 22.
In the email, the police chief wrote, “This type of behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated inside the department,” according to Cincinnati.com
Barnette was placed on restricted duty and an internal investigation is underway, the paper reported.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Barnette is Heard on BodyCam Using the N-Word While Arresting a Black Woman Alleged to Have ‘Pushed’ Him
It’s reported that Barnette was trying to arrest the woman, who has not been named, and she is reported to have pushed him.
The Enquirer reported that in his email, the police chief wrote, “Subsequent to the incident, Officer Barnette is clearly heard on a nearby Officer’s Body Worn Camera using a racial slur … ( the “N” word).”
Barnette’s was stripped of police authority and put on desk duty. An internal investigation has also begun.
The paper reported that in an email to other city officials, city manager Duhaney wrote that he shared Isaac’s concern: “It is unacceptable and not in line with the standard of conduct we expect from city employees.”
Duhaney was sworn in as City Manager less than two weeks ago. He previously was acting city manager for around eight months. A combat veteran, Duhaney has an MBA and has worked for the city since 2009, according to the city’s website.
2. Barnette Pleaded Guilty to an Illegal Deer Hunting Misdemeanor in 2015
In a packet of discovery materials for a trial, a list of police officers who would be witnesses included complaints, investigations or convictions of officers that may have impacted their testimony.
In the documents, it’s shown that Barnette has a criminal conviction, albeit a misdemeanor; he pleaded guilty and paid a $240 fine for violating Ohio state law on deer hunting regulations. State records show that for the 2014-2015 season, it appears that based on the date of the violation charge, Feb. 15, 2015, Barnette was cited for hunting out of season. The deer hunting season ended weeks before for archers and months before for hunters with guns.
When Barnette pleaded guilty, he violated the Cincinnati Police Department’s rules on criminal convictions.
His conviction is considered minor relative to the other offenses by officers listed in the documents which run the gamut from DUI’s to tampering with evidence.
3. Barnette is Married to Joan Hucke Barnette. Her Facebook Includes Photos of the Couple & Posts That Show Support for Law Enforcement
According to his Facebook page, Barnette attended D. Russell Lee technical college, was a recruiter for the US Marines, and is from Sharonville, Ohio. And it’s on this social media page that he shares he’s married to Joan Hucke Barnette.
Joan Barnette has myriad images of she and her husband, many show them out doors hiking, for example.
She also shares images and posts related to fallen police officers and military members as well as posts and shares related to supporting law enforcement.
4. Barnette Received Two Cincinnati Police Department Awards; One for ‘Exemplary Conduct’ & Another For ‘Professionalism’ Following the Trial of UC Cop Ray Tensing
According to CPD staff notes, a February 2014 memo shows Barnette was presented with the department’s Award for Exemplary Conduct, an honor for officers who regularly “conduct themselves in a highly professional manner, leading by example for co-workers to follow, for a continuous period of 36 months free of written reprimands, suspensions.
And in 2017, Barnette was commended for “professionalism” as part of the CPD “Civil Disturbance Response Team” in 2016. That team of officers worked during the trial of former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing who shot and killed an unarmed black man during a 2015 traffic stop.
After two trials, one a mistrial and the other a hung jury, charges were dropped against Tensing. The university police officer had pulled over DuBose for a missing front tag and a suspended driver’s license. Tensing fired his weapon claiming that DuBose started his car and dragged the officer but prosecutors said bodycam showed that he was not dragged and he was indicted on a charge of murder and of voluntary manslaughter. Fired from the college police force, he bonded out of jail.
The November 2016 trial had a deadlocked jury. And it was at the end of that first trial that Barnette worked the civil disturbance detail. After the verdict, there were protests including a Black Lives Matter demonstration. Barnette worked that incident.And, also part of his commendation was his participation in police responses from October of 2016 through December of that year that coincided with visits from Trump, then-candidate Hillary Clinton, former Pres. Bill Clinton, and myriad anti-Trump protests. Barnette was lauded along with a dozen other Cincinnati cops for “exceptional job managing …emotionally charged” protests.
5. The Cincinnati Police Department Just Days Before Lost a Near Three-Decade Officer to Suicide
In a Facebook post, the police department does not add that the officer killed himself. Numerous other reports indicate that was how he died, including a mention about it from Barnette’s wife on her Facebook page.
“Colonel Eliot K. Isaac regrets to announce the death of retired Cincinnati Police Sergeant Arthur T. Schultz. Sergeant Schultz passed away Thursday, December 20, at the age of 54. He was appointed to the Cincinnati Police Department on May 6, 1990 and promoted to Police Sergeant on February 9, 1997. Sergeant Schultz served in Districts 1, 3, 4, and Special Investigations Section (Vice Squad). Sergeant Schultz retired with 28 years of service.”
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Lynn, and their family.”
Commenters on the Facebook post say that Schultz was not retired and was rather on active duty directly before his death.
“RETIRED Cincinnati Police Sergeant” ???, one person wrote.