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Facebook comment from Sampson County deputy sparks internal investigation

Posted July 4

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— The Sampson County Sheriff’s Office said Monday that it is investigating a comment made online by a deputy following a Sunday morning incident in Salemburg that left one dead and several more injured.

According to the Sampson County Sheriff's Office, deputies discovered several groups fighting at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday at the Lakewood Country Club and attempted to break up the fights. One deputy received minor injuries when his arm was cut with broken glass during the fight, and a deputy's vehicle was struck by people trying to leave the scene.

Three people were shot, one person was stabbed and two people were beaten during the fights. The victims were transported to Sampson Regional Medical Center and Cape Fear Valley Hospital with severe injuries.

In a Facebook post about the incident, one person commented “they won’t be getting their deposit back” to which Deputy Patrick Foreman replied, “It don’t matter, it was paid for on EBT.”

EBT stands for electronic benefit transfer and is used to issue food stamps.

Capt. Eric Pope with the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office said the department takes the comment seriously and has launched an internal investigation.

“The Sampson County Sheriff’s Office does not condone the comment or that type of behavior,” Pope said.

The comment has since been deleted.

Foreman had the day off Monday for the Fourth of July, Pope said, but he could not comment on what action will be taken against the deputy.

According to officials, one victim, Anthony King of Roseboro, died shortly after noon Sunday from injuries he suffered in the fights. Other victims have been identified as Star Royal of Roseboro, Mary Denise Rich of Huntington, N.Y., and Daniel Cleveland Cooper of Salemburg.

A criminal investigation into Sunday morning’s incident was still underway.


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  • Sean Creasy Jul 5, 3:07 p.m.
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    Wow your ignorance in believing that this culture you are so vigorously defending is perfectly acceptable only shows the level of ignorance you are willing to display in an attempt to prove yourself right. If raping, killing, slinging drug as a career, leaving children to grow up fatherless and unsupported by both parents, robbing, stealing, and generally showing no regards for the laws or your fellow human beings is what you consider normal then you sir and people like you who make excuses for these individuals are the problem...

  • Erika Phipps Jul 5, 11:57 a.m.
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    Considering the death, it *was* thoughtless to post the glib comment, esp. if hee assumed anything based on race. But it provides an opportunity to ask WHY would anyone be inclined to make *that* joke? Because EBT users can buy all kinds of ridiculous things now with taxpayer's funds (energy drinks, candy, soda, decorated cakes etc), frequently do so, and don't even have to show ID (anybody can use anybody else's card, regardless of whether it was bought or stolen). So maybe the EBT program is the primary bad joke. It helps a lot of good people, but oh how it enables bad ones.

  • Sean Creasy Jul 5, 11:43 a.m.
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    You seem to be stuck on the race issue when I have yet to say anything about it. It seems that the only one quick to pass judgment here is you by automatically deeming anything you don't agree with "racist" or "judgmental". However if you want to accept the truth you need look no further than the daily news reports to see that the majority of people that are committing crimes in our area are not well dressed (suit and tie) individuals who are concerned how other people feel or whether or not what they are doing is acceptable behavior or even legal most of the time. These people are the dregs of our society who spend their time leeching off the hard work of others with no remorse about doing so...

  • Marty Martin Jul 5, 10:39 a.m.
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    Shameful comment! - that justifies investigating previous arrests he's made.

  • Alex Wilson Jul 5, 9:07 a.m.
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    thank you for proving everyone's point about your none racist comments.

    Who appointed you God, that you can pass judgement on someone based on their looks, clothes, views and lifestyle. Without even knowing the individuals or knowing their situation. You are classifying them and prejudging them based on nothing but your own ignorance.

    Must be a great view up on that high mountain of yours.

  • Paul Stroud Jul 5, 8:05 a.m.
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    @Sean can you, interesting. Maybe that was the desired effect ....

  • Jack Littleton Jul 5, 7:59 a.m.
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    It is a sad time when a dumb comment overshadow a death/murder and several cases of attempted murder. Go to church and listen people. Sorry to all the families and friends of All parties involved.

  • Paul Stroud Jul 5, 7:08 a.m.
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    @Eric, is it the TRUTH that it was paid for by EBT?

  • Alex Wilson Jul 5, 6:31 a.m.
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    of course, you and this officer know for a fact that they are on government assistance. You know them personally and know their individual situation or are you like this officer making a prejudgment because of race.