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Arkansas officer faces discipline after posing for photo in clown garb

By Austin Cannon

This article was published September 27, 2016 at 2:31 p.m.


Days after multiple clown sightings were reported near White Hall, one of the city’s school resource officers posed for a photo dressed in a clown costume, an official said. That photo made it onto the Internet, and the officer now faces disciplinary action.

Mickey Buffkin, an investigator with White Hall police, said officer Dustin Summers made a “bad judgement call” when he posed for the photo Sept. 20. Summers is the school resource officer for the elementary schools in the White Hall School District, according to the department's website.

The photo “was just something him and his friends were doing at home,” Buffkin said. After the photo made it onto social media, the police department opened an internal investigation. Buffkin said he couldn’t comment on the consequences Summers is facing, citing the ongoing investigation, but did say Summers is still an officer at the department.

“He is an outstanding officer,” Buffkin said, adding that the photo was a combination of poor decision-making and bad timing.

Heath Bennett, an assistant superintendent for the school district, said Tuesday that the investigation was a police matter only.

Buffkin, White Hall Mayor Noel Foster and a news release from the department said Summers was not connected to the recently reported clown sightings near the city.

Foster said there were two or three clown sightings in Pine Bluff near its border with White Hall earlier this month, as Arkansas Online previously reported. Pine Bluff police also responded to a clown sighting the night of Sept. 18 behind the Tractor Supply store at 6309 Sheridan Road. A police spokesman said the clown reportedly had a machete or another object in his hand.

The clown-sighting trend has made its way north, too. In an email, Sgt Brian Dedrick, a spokesman for North Little Rock police, said his department received “a couple” of unsubstantiated calls about clowns last week. Clown sightings have been reported in several Southern states since late August.

With the recent sightings near White Hall in mind, the police department apologized Tuesday for causing any concern and affirmed that it “takes this matter seriously and holds its officers to a high standard of conduct.”

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Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 total comments

LR1955 says... September 27, 2016 at 4:17 p.m.

He lucky he didn't get shot

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CarpeNoctis says... September 27, 2016 at 4:33 p.m.

Oh good grief! Really, what law/code did he not follow and needs to reprimanded for? Just 'cause of the sightings (FALSE in a lot of states) doesn't mean a person in the State of Ark. can't dress up as a clown. Can we stop the pearl clutching over stupid nonsense?

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TravisBickle says... September 27, 2016 at 4:54 p.m.

That is hilarious!! But where's the picture??!!

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TravisBickle says... September 27, 2016 at 4:54 p.m.

I know what I'm dressing up as for Halloween!

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JoeHartwig says... September 27, 2016 at 5:47 p.m.

Well-said, KMS.

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LR1955 says... September 27, 2016 at 6:23 p.m.

The cop code against poor decision-making and bad timing, & a goofy friend that posted the photo & identified him. More like stupid.....similar to the people that reach into a car when a cop says keep your hands in sight.

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BEARTRAP919 says... September 27, 2016 at 8:02 p.m.

And there I was thinking this was still a Free Country and anyone could wear what they wanted to wear on their own time, And now I Read this about a POLICEMAN being Disciplined because He was wearing a Clown suit and having Pictures made. What Kind of Country are we really living in?? I believe this Policeman's Civil Rights are being Violated, and I suggest he Hire a Lawyer, and Sue, That is the Only Message these Idiots understand, Hit them where it hurts, Right in the Pocketbook, This is Disgraceful, This is America, This is the Land of the Free, Or is all of that over now???????????????

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