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Easley, South Carolina, police chief resigns after fight at county park, official says

KIFI

By Janice Limon

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    EASLEY, South Carolina (WYFF) — The police chief of Easley, South Carolina, has resigned, officials said Thursday, five days after he was involved in an off-duty fight at a county park.

The city’s interim administrator, Tommy Holcombe, confirmed police Chief Stan Whitten officially stepped down.

An email later released by the city’s clerk and human resources director, Jennifer Bradley, said Jon Hamby was named interim police chief. Hamby is an Easley Police Department major and has been with the department since 1998, Bradley said.

Whitten’s resignation comes after the city announced on Wednesday he was suspended for what they called a “personal personnel problem,” later releasing incident reports and 911 calls from a fight on Saturday at Mile Creek Park on Lake Keowee.

WARNING: The reports and recordings contain profanities and racial slurs.

Read the reports here: htv-prod-media.s3.amazonaws.com/files/stan-whitten-incident-reports-redacted-s2023-02424-redacted-648a2872baa2a.pdf

Reports said deputies were called to a “fight in progress” just after 5 p.m. at Keowee Baptist Church Road at Lake Keowee. The fight involved Whitten, his daughter, her boyfriend, and a man, his wife and children, according to the reports.

The reports said Whitten admitted to “having a few beers” before the altercation happened.

They also said Whitten used profanity and racial slurs while yelling at the man and his family.

Two 911 calls were also released.

In one of the calls, a man who identified himself as a park ranger told dispatchers he had just gotten off work and out of the shower when he “heard people screaming left and right,” so he drove to the parking lot to see what the commotion was.

Voices of men shouting can be heard in the background during his call.

In the other 911 call, a woman told dispatchers she was with her husband and child, trying to get out of the park while a number of men were out of their vehicles and fighting.

Whitten has been in law enforcement since 2007, serving with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office until April 2021, when he was hired as the Easley police chief, according to his training history report released by officials.

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