Comedian Dave Chappelle addresses Village of Yellow Springs council meeting during conversation about police action on New Year’s Eve 2017.
Yellow Springs retains attorney to investigate New Year’s Eve police-citizen clash
UPDATE@12:57 p.m. (Jan. 6): The Village of Yellow Springs has retained an attorney to investigate the events that occurred New Year’s Eve at the village’s annual ball drop. Attorney David Williamson of the law firm Bieser Greer & Landis LLP will lead the investigation to begin immediately. According to the Village of Yellow Springs, the investigation is expected to take approximately 30 days.
UPDATE@4:22 p.m.(Jan. 4): The Yellow Springs police officer who “deviated” from orders while overseeing the New Year’s Eve events that led to an altercation with citizens and the abrupt resignation of the police chief has been identified.
Officer R.J. Hawley has worked two years as a member of the Village of Yellow Springs Police Depart., according to Village Manager Patti Bates. Hawley is on medical leave, stemming from Sunday’s events, and has not been able to answer any questions in the pending investigation, Bates said.
UPDATE @ 10:08 p.m. (Jan. 3): Yellow Springs Village Manager Patti Bates, during the council meeting, read a statement from Police Chief David Hale regarding his resignation. Hale was not in attendance at the meeting, which drew about 130 to the gym at the Bryan Center.
“It appears that the officer in charge deviated from his instructions, we don’t yet know why or what his reason was for doing that because he was on injury leave and he cannot answer those questions until he returns,” Bates said, reading from Hale’s statement.
“I also want to point out that in previous incidents, when warranted, there has been action taken once the investigation was concluded,” Hale wrote.
After calling the actions of the officers involved “unacceptable,” Hale announced his resignation by proxy of Bates. The announcement was met with a standing ovation.