FOX16's sister station WPTY uncovered the records of West Memphis Officer, Erik Sammis, who shot and killed 12 year old DeAunta Farrow.
Here’s a look at what they found:
Before working in West Memphis, Sammis first served in the U.S. Air Force in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. In 1994, the North Little Rock Police Department hired him, and then fired him two years later for making a false statement. In 1995, he was hired as assistant chief of police in Gould, Arkansas. Then in 1996, he was hired in West Memphis.
Two years later, his first disciplinary action came. Sammis was suspended three days for crashing a squad car while chasing a vehicle. The chief of police at the time said if Sammis was involved in any other accidents due to negligence on Sammis' part, he could be fired.
In employee progress reports, managers say Sammis has been occasionally untactful and inconsiderate and loses focus. One sergeant asked Sammis be removed from his shift because he said Sammis had total disregard for authority. There are also positive letters, from the State of Arkansas Training Academy, saying Sammis provided excellent instruction to other officers. Sammis was praised in 1998 by Arkansas State Police for assisting in a manhunt. In 2002, Sammis was called a hero for rescuing a dangling baby from an armed man at an apartment complex.
There have been four lawsuits filed against officer Sammis that we know of, some for civil rights violations. A judge dismissed one of those cases. Complaints against officer Sammis were not in his file. The only documents that go in there are relating to incidents when an officer is suspended or fired for their behavior.
Officer Sammis did respond to us by email today about his file being released. He says, “I am still getting death threats. I plan to stay with the police department if I'm allowed after the investigation. I'm not one to run away from radicals."