Deputy cleared by grand jury in shooting death still out of work, but remains commissioned
CLINTON- It's been seven months since Christopher Whitfield was gunned down in the parking lot of a store by East Feliciana Sheriff's Deputy Glenn Sims Senior. Despite a grand jury determining no crime was committed, Sims has not returned to work but remains commissioned.
"The sheriff is thinking about it, and we will have a conversation but as of this moment he is a commissioned deputy," Chief Deputy Greg Phares said.
Whitfield's death touched off protests outside the Clinton Courthouse where people demanded answers. His mother told WBRZ she has been stricken with grief since the shooting.
"My heart is hurting every day," Ella Whitfield said. "I have to go to the graveyard, Mother's Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving. I had to go put flowers on the grave and couldn't give them in his hand. I've been in depression."
The WBRZ Investigative Unit reported one week after the shooting that Sims was convicted three times for crimes he committed. He was also issued a letter of reprimand for sending inappropriate text messages to a 911 dispatcher.
At the time of the report, the sheriff's office said it was only aware of one of his convictions due to the poor record-keeping prior. Sims had also come and gone a number of times from the department.
Phares said Sims has not been called back to work and was not fired because the sheriff's office was dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
"That was our first priority until this crisis is dealt with, that we didn't want to cut anyone loose," Phares said. "We needed the possibility of bringing someone who is experienced on if necessary. It turned out not to be necessary."
As the family prays for justice, they aren't sure if it will ever come.
"God ain't sleep," Whitfield said. "Justice will be served, because I'm not going to let this drop. I'm going further with it."
The East Feliciana Sheriff's Office said despite Sims having a commission he has not been allowed to work extra duty in the parish.
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