Justice for Police Whistleblower, 15 Years Later
In 2000, Reginald Newberne spoke out claiming another state trooper used excessive force while apprehending a suspect because he wanted to do the right thing. In response to the statement he made, Newberne was fired from his job for breaking the so-called "code of silence" while the state trooper who used excessive force was not, highlighting some major flaws in the system. Now, 15 years later, Newberne has won a lawsuit against his former employer for nearly $4 million.
“Literally, they were going to go after him for breaking the code of silence,” said Doyle, his attorney.
Doyle pointed out that the investigation into the allegations of excessive force resulted with the department saying it was “inconclusive” whether what the troopers did was unjustified and none was sanctioned afterward.
Newberne said not only did he lose his job, but his life after the firing was rocky for a while.
“People don’t realize the things that these agencies do,” Newberne said. “It’s not only that they don’t want you, they try to keep you from going anywhere else.”
Newberne eventually landed work with the State Capital Police, then at Wake Technical Community College. He lives in Durham County now, building a life with a small child and his second wife.
As he listens to the new questions about police force, given the recent shooting in Charlotte and others across the country, Newberne offered his perspective.
“I can tell you what I think the issue is,” Newberne said. “The reason an officer can see something go on and not say anything – often the person who comes forward and says anything becomes the target.”