Review Board Rules on Night Club Dispute
COLUMBIA - The Citizens Police Review Board ruled Wednesday night that there was police misconduct by Officer Nathan Turner at a night club dispute last December. The board heard testimony from two witnesses: a personal friend of the night club owner, and a Columbia police officer. Former Nephews night club owner Lawrence Marks was supposed to be present for testimony, but was unable to make the meeting. The board was divided on its decision of Turner's conduct, but ultimately voted 5 to 3 against a motion that would have cleared him of his actions.
An appeal was filed following an incident at Nephews. Columbia resident Derek Billups, who was taken into custody for arguing with Marks and a customer, claims Officer Nathan Turner threw him to the ground in an attempt to handcuff him. Turner alleges he tripped on a curb and that both he and Billups fell as a result.
An internal affairs investigation originally ruled there was not enough evidence to determine if Turner violated policy or procedure. Billups said the entire incident could have been avoided had Turner identified himself and apprehended him from the front.
The board will now send a letter of recommendation to both the city manager and police chief Ken Burton.