Ga. Officers Reprimanded in Bar Fight; 1 Resigns

CONYERS, Ga. --

Several Conyers police officers were disciplined after a recent bar fight.

The three off-duty police officers involved went to Pointe Bar to celebrate the retirement of another police officer Jan. 15, police said. According to a memorandum issued by Conyers police Chief Gene Wilson, a former Conyers police officer was suspected of starting the fight with a bar patron. At some point, Conyers police officer Shyra Hardwick was struck in the face.

Wilson said he empathized with Hardwick’s upset feelings over the punch but said her response was unacceptable.

“Your behavior at the Point Bar on January 15, 2011 after you were struck in face was an embarrassment to the City of Conyers police officers who responded to that scene,” Wilson said in a written reprimand.

He said Hardwick cursed at a civilian and was insubordinate to responding officers. He added that her tone was “increasingly demeaning, sarcastic and loud.”

“You continued to rant about the sergeant and his shift’s incompetence,” Wilson said. “This behavior is borderline obstruction.”

Hardwick was demoted from detective to officer, transferred to the patrol division and was suspended for 10 days without pay.

Wilson also sent a written reprimand to Conyers Lt. Derek Parker. In the letter, Wilson accuses Parker of withholding information about former Conyers police officer Buck Vaughn throwing a blow in the fight.

“You did not admit you had this information until you were directly questioned about it by Captain Waters. You should have brought this information forward to one of us as soon as you became aware of it,” Wilson said in the memo.

Parker is being transferred from internal affairs to the uniform division, but Wilson said a repeat of the incident could lead to worse punishment.

“I wish to make it clear to you that if you are involved in any further similar incident, the disciplinary action will be severe up to, and including, termination. This incident will also be taken into consideration on your next annual review,” Wilson said.

A third officer involved in the incident has left the department. Conyers police officer Jason Heyman sent a letter of resignation, effective Jan. 21.

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