10 News Investigators find more problems with Palmetto Police Department as officer is suspended

6:09 PM, Jul 26, 2013   |    comments
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Palmetto, Florida -- More problems for the Palmetto Police Department. In May, the 10 News Investigators discovered almost a third of the officers had serious problems in the past. 

Now, Officer Rebecca Evans is facing a 40-hour suspension for a drunken, profanity-filled fight while off duty.

Evans is also an officer we featured in May when we told you about problems in the department. Even before she joined the force, Evans was charged with threatening then striking a school employee, but the victim declined to prosecute. She was hired as a sworn officer in Palmetto and, now, Evans is in trouble again.

Leon Davis says there was "screaming, hollering, and cussing" during the incident when Evans and others were talking about "who is going to kick whose butt".

The Internal Affairs report has witnesses saying Evans was dropping F-bombs, took a swing at a man and was drunk. Evans even admitted she was out of control.

During the Internal Affairs interview Evans said, "Honestly, I know the loudness and the profanity was unprofessional."

She said she had been drinking at a family reunion in the neighborhood and doesn't usually drink when she goes out.

In addition, the Internal Affairs investigation reported two people called the Palmetto Police to say after the fight Evans went home, put on her uniform, and came back to the scene of the incident in her patrol car. 

Evans denied that allegation and, upon further questioning, one of the witnesses said she wasn't one hundred percent sure it was Evans. However, the department concluded Evans demonstrated conduct unbecoming a police officer.

"There is no telling what kind of officers they are hiring now and they are coming from all over," Davis said. 

Although Chief Rick Wells wouldn't comment on the current case, in May when we talked to him about problems with the officers hired at the Department, he tried to fend off blame.

"I can only pay attention to what I've done since I've been here since July of 2010," he said.

But Officer Evans was a hire of Chief Rick Wells and, in this case, people can hold him responsible.

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