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 Judge denies arrest warrant for former Brooklet police chief

Meyer: 'It was expected, because it was the truth'

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 Judge denies arrest warrant for former Brooklet police chief

Former Brooklet police Chief Doug Meyer

On Thursday, Bulloch County State Court Judge Gary Mikell denied a request seeking a warrant against former Brooklet police Chief Doug Meyer.

Brooklet resident Cindy Bodaford Lee applied for an arrest warrant against Meyer through the Bulloch County Magistrate Court in February, but when such cases involve a law enforcement officer regarding actions while on duty, the case is legally turned over to a higher court, according to Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) 17-4-40 (c).

Mikell filed the denial in the Bulloch County Clerk of Courts Office on Monday.

Lee filed the application for a warrant in February after Meyer resigned amid a controversy regarding videos Lee posted on Facebook in January. One video showed her in an angry confrontation with an officer regarding the alleged behavior of an off-duty officer who had admonished teens for not having younger juveniles in car seats. The younger juveniles had been transferred to Lee's car after that incident when Officer John Baker stopped her, and angry words were exchanged.

The second video she posted showed a loud, angry exchange between Lee and Meyer when she went to the Brooklet City Hall to file a complaint against the officers. A video from a body camera worn by Meyer during the exchange showed him tapping Lee on the shoulder while loudly demanding she leave the building. Lee's video did not show that part, as her camera had been in her pocket at the time and only recorded the audio portion.

During the public outcry over Lee's videos, Brooklet City Council members met in a called meeting, where Meyer resigned and announced his retirement.

The Statesboro Herald, using the Freedom of Information Act, obtained copies of both Meyer's and Baker's bodycam videos. Baker and the off-duty officer involved in the first incident were not reprimanded, with Brooklet Mayor William Hendrix making a statement that the officers had done nothing wrong.

In light of Meyer's physically touching Lee by tapping her on the shoulder, she applied for the warrant for his arrest on simple battery charges. After a hearing Thursday, Mikell issued a filing that stated, "Having considered the evidence presented, including a video of the alleged event, the Court does not find probable cause exists for the arrests and prosecution" of Meyer for simple battery, and "therefore the application is denied."

Lee would not comment Monday, citing an attorney's advice, but Meyer told the Statesboro Herald the entire ordeal has been stressful.

"My family has been put through absolute hell," he said. "A great deal of damage has been done in many areas. But when we received the news, we were pleased. I also must say it was expected, because it was the truth."

Meyer said the officers in question were simply "doing their jobs."

Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.



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