Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bad apple or misunderstood?

Why does controversy constantly follow JPD investigator Kent Daniels? It's understandable a police officer will occasionally receive some attention due to the nature of the job. However, it seems Officer Daniels appears in the news more frequently than other officers.

I first became aware of Mr. Daniels when he inexplicably reduced the charges against George Bell, III for his "alleged" beating on June 3, 2007 of Heather Spencer. I questioned his actions in an earlier post, :
"The police reports states she had 57 staples ( 3 rows), a finger splint, a spring wrap on her wrist, and that he tried to strangle her. Ms. Spencer also states in the report she had a fracture....
It is at this point several questions about JPD's conduct are raised. The charge was reduced to Simple Domestic Violence, a misdemeanor, by Detective Daniels....
He stated the reason was the assault was not life-threatening.
The statute does not say that an injury or attack has to be life-threatening for a successful prosecution of Aggravated Assault. It says there only has to be an attempt. The case law on this statute also says that the issue of whether the mallet was a deadly weapon was a question of fact for the jury, meaning NOT the police officer. His stating that the attack was not life-threatening boggles the mind and makes one think this is more than an error in judgement. However, since that is not really an issue in the charge of Aggravated Assault, it is pretty clear that Mr. Bell attempted to cause serious bodily injury to Ms. Spencer. I don't know what type of training Mr. Daniels has received, but broken bones, severe lacerations, and repeated heavy blows to the head would be proof of an attempt to cause serious bodily injury to most people. One must really wonder what was going through Mr. Daniels' mind when he reduced the charges. It makes one think he is incompetent....or something else...."
The police report is available at

The next time Detective Daniels surfaced in the media was during the coverage of the Elicia Hughes trial as it was reported he took the statement of the girlfriend of the victim at Red Lobster (according to trial testimony). Police procedure dictates such statements are to be taken at the police station, not at a restaurant. Why exactly was Mr. Daniels interviewing a young woman at Red Lobster? Would the crab cakes and wine make her feel more comfortable? Such behavior is unprofessional and raises several questions. Such actions by the investigator violate the principles of basic ethics which hold that a law enforcement official should always avoid the appearance of impropriety.

Unfortunately, Detective Daniels's questionable actions do not stop at Red Lobster but unfortunately include an arrest back in 2000 as The Clarion-Ledger reported":

November 2, 2000 •• 417 words •• ID: jak9946482611217
"Patrolman allegedly had drugs in vehicle when stopped by trooper" By Theresa Kiely, Clarion-Ledger Staff Writer
A Jackson police officer was on administrative leave without pay Wednesday following his arrest earlier this week on a misdemeanor drug charge. Precinct 1 Patrolman Kent Daniels was stopped around 4 p.m. Sunday by the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol as he traveled north on I-55 in McComb. Jackson police spokesman Robert Graham confirmed Daniels' arrest."

Obviously the good detective was not convicted as he is still a police officer although one must question exactly how he avoided a conviction if he was caught with drugs in the car. Was it part of an investigation that JPD had in McComb? The police protecting one of their own? What exactly did happen? Why is he even a detective still?

What is even more troubling is this officer who has such a checkered past was assigned last year by Frank Melton to be a bodyguard for newly-elected District Attorney Robert Smith. The Jackson Free Press reported Meantime, D.A.-elect Robert Smith has two police officers—Ken Daniels and James Cornelius, we’re told—assigned to watch over him 24-7 due to vague threats. .

After examining the history of Mr. Daniels, one must ask why his name keeps appearing in the media. It is unfortunate he was picked by Melton to be a bodyguard for Mr. Smith but considering Melton's penchant for surrounding himself with shady individuals, it is par for the course. Frankly, I have a serious problem with an officer who reduces charges for no reason against a guy who beats his girlfriend within an inch of her life, is caught with drugs in his car, and likes to interview young women at restaurants. On the other hand, maybe Mr. Daniels can mentor Jared Foster as every Sith Lord must have an apprentice.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm... I think a drug conviction would stop him from being able to carry a gun.

check this 'professional courtesy' crap out.

"If you are a police officer, trooper, court officer, correction officer, telecommunicator, highway patrol, federal agent, or any other type of police (peace) officer either full-time, part-time or retired that has been disrespected or insulted by another police agency (officer) by not receiving some sort of professional courtesy, please email staff (at) with the information."

gorjus said...

Worse still, his personnel records are immune to public scrutiny because of our soft sunshine law/FOIA equivalent. So if you want to investigate whether this person, charged with keeping us safe, makes us worse? You have to trust the department.

Anonymous said...

What a joke. Prior to the death of Heather Spencer, I was as naive as anyone could be. Since then however, I pray to God every day and night that I never have to rely on this corrupt, ignorant, racist system designed to "protect and serve". Protect and serve WHAT?...each other? It's an absolute fraternity of idiots that is completely disgraceful and should incite total OUTRAGE among the citizens of this city. This is not only an indictment of Mr. "Can't Touch This" Daniels, but of the whole pathetic department and system at large.

Kingfish said...

Makes you wonder what has been going on at JPD all of these years.

Averaging a new chief every two years, what do you expect?

Combine Hinds County Sheriff's office and JPD and make the head of it an elected position.

Anonymous said...

JPD was a mess before Melton and has only gone downhill since. I feel sorry for the hard working well meaning honest officers that remain working in that chaotic department.

Anonymous said...

Yeah...all three of them.

Anonymous said...

First of all get your facts straight. As I have looked into this matter. Det. Daniels was arrested in 2000, but the Tooper involved in the arrested lied and was shorty fired there after. The charges were reduced in the Spencer case, because she came down and went before a Judge and reduced them.

Kingfish said...

Get YOUR facts straight.

1. The Clarion Ledger never wrote a follow up story supporting your allegations. Any corrections by the CL or official documents will be posted here if provided.

2. They were never reduced by Ms. Spencer. The officer UNILATERALLY reduced them you moron. The judge can NOT reduce them and NO JUDGE'S SIGNATURE has been produced for any reduction or dismissal. His cited reason that the charges were reduced because the injuries were not life threatening HAVE NO BASIS IN LAW and can not be used as grounds for such a reduction. What matters is the intent and the weapon used and Mr. Bell MORE than fulfilled those requirements.

By the way, what judge did she go before? Do you know something we don't? Have a docket or court record you can provide? If you don't, then shut up because until I see a judge's signature, this is total bs.

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