Local News

Durham police say ex-officer used excessive force

Posted February 27, 2013

— The Durham Police Department said Wednesday that a former officer used excessive force during an arrest last fall.

Stephanie Nickerson said Cpl. Brian Schnee hit her in the face during an Oct. 28 arrest. She was charged with assault on a government official and resisting a public officer, but prosecutors dismissed those charges last month.

An internal investigation determined that Schnee "used more force than was necessary against Ms. Nickerson," but there was insufficient evidence to support her allegation that she was arrested without cause, the department said in a statement.

Schnee resigned last month, but the department chose to complete its investigation.

"The Durham Police Department has taken, and continues to take, any allegations of misconduct seriously and works deliberately to ensure that all complaints are thoroughly investigated and appropriate action is taken when needed," the department said. "An investigation of this nature takes time to do right, but is necessary to ensure confidence – to the public and within the Police Department – that each and every claim is thoroughly reviewed."

16 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • jjsmith1973 Feb 27, 7:25 p.m.

    @whatdaheck my father has been a cop for over 30 years and can't believe the stories he reads here like this one. Second of all get off your hollywood view of cops staying alive. Third cop bashing isn't wanting a peace officer, an officer of the peace when they question his bashing of a woman's face where her charges were dropped and the findings of him being investigated were up held but he will not be charged with a crime. You think wanting an officer of the law, to be held to the law is basing a cop, you are the part of the reason why cops get away with abusing their position as a peace officer in the first place

  • bubbba Feb 27, 6:20 p.m.

    So let me get this straight... Those of you bashing the officer really think he just hit this woman in the face because he felt like it and figured he could get away with it because he's a cop? Is that it, because that is what most of the cop-negative comments here boil down to.

    Yep.

  • Whatdaheck Feb 27, 4:48 p.m.

    So let me get this straight... Those of you bashing the officer really think he just hit this woman in the face because he felt like it and figured he could get away with it because he's a cop? Is that it, because that is what most of the cop-negative comments here boil down to.

    You have to keep in mind that EVERY time a cop is dispatched, he never knows what's going on UNTIL he has time to assess the situation and observe the people involved. All too often, violence erupts during that time. Cops ARRIVE ready for trouble EVERY TIME. That's how they stay alive.

  • Ol Forrester Feb 27, 4:17 p.m.

    Does anyone else wonder why police officers were called to restrain Ms Nickerson ???

  • jjsmith1973 Feb 27, 4:00 p.m.

    Maybe if you were a law abiding citizen... you wouldn't have any interaction with the police... Wonder what kind of rap sheet this "victim" had????
    Coach K is still GREAT

    I love your assumption of guilt here. You are the first problem with police, departments being held responsible for their misconduct with the assumption that the person must always being doing something wrong to deserve police attention. Give me a break and wake up! Even if the person did end up doing something to draw the attention of the police, it doesn't justify excessive force. We are supposed to be a better country than that, unless you would prefer sharia-law.

  • airbornemonty Feb 27, 3:45 p.m.

    In high level specialized jobs like the police department, the officer comes in front of a board and he/she is asked to whethere they want to resign or be fired.

    If the officer resigns, he/she will certainly be hired by another law inforcement department like the Sheriffs Department.

    If the officer is fired, he/she can look forward to becoming a security guard at some lonely scary warehouse at midnight.

    So what is the best course to take, resign of course.

  • elyhim2 Feb 27, 3:44 p.m.

    Assault is a crime, he should be charged with that crime.

  • Peachtree Feb 27, 3:26 p.m.

    Can't imagine what would have happened to her if she had actually committed a crime. There will be others coming forth with stories about this rogue cop.

  • TH Feb 27, 3:25 p.m.

    Hey and superflame...he resigned or he wouldve been fired..same thing. He will just go work for the sheriffs office. Check that out.

  • TH Feb 27, 3:23 p.m.

    Attention citizens: If you have a complaint against any officer, staff, clerk or whomever works at the police department, be sure to report it. They investigate any and everything. They take a report about anything..just demand it...seriously. This is just grandstanding. The administration will start and can start an internal inv. on ANYTHING. Upstanding? Transparent? Keep dreaming.

More...