Clemson Police Officer Fired, Accused of Bullying/Harassment - WSPA.com

Clemson Police Officer Fired, Accused of Bullying/Harassment

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7 On Your Side is digging into a grievance report put together by Clemson City Attorney Kay Barrett. She told us she was gathering facts for the City Administrator, not acting as the City Attorney in this instance. 7 On Your Side is digging into a grievance report put together by Clemson City Attorney Kay Barrett. She told us she was gathering facts for the City Administrator, not acting as the City Attorney in this instance.

An Upstate police officer is off the job and is accused of bullying and harassing co-workers.

7 On Your Side is digging into a grievance report put together by Clemson City Attorney Kay Barrett. She told us she was gathering facts for the City Administrator, not acting as the City Attorney in this instance.

Clemson police Chief Jimmy Dixon confirms Major Karry Walker was dismissed from the department.

Seven pages of thorough notes show what Barrett found.

The report states Sergeant Brenda Link felt Major Karry Walker belittled her to her face, bullied her, micro managed her cases and was not supportive and unprofessional. Upon filing the grievance, Link states the behavior had been happening for several years and she provided several examples of the behavior.

Barrett also spoke with Chief Dixon who told her he believed there was a problem between Link and Walker and that he had spoke with them about it more than once over a long period of time. He said he had tried to resolve the matter internally and thought it was at least partially resolved. Barrett mentions that the Chief seemed surprised a formal grievance was filed.

The report also shows a response from Major Walker. Barrett describes Walker as defensive. Walker stated she had no knowledge of anything she could have said or done to Sergeant Link that would have offended her.

Walker stated that she felt she was only doing her job when it came to the interaction she had with Sergeant Link and that she felt she had always followed the rules.

The report shows Barrett spoke with other members of the department who told her Major Walker tends to get into other people’s faces and yell at them or stomp around the office slamming doors. They confirmed they were aware of several instances Walker had said negative things about her and to her.

Several others interviewed at the department said the believed Major Walker bullied Sergeant Link more than others because Link had a strong personality and was not afraid to speak back to Major Walker and correct her when she's wrong. 

Barrett wrote that many officers said they didn't look forward to coming into the police station unless Walker was absent. Some even said they would avoid it while she was there. More than one officer told Barrett that they were considering leaving the police force unless the situation improved.

The report states that Barrett spoke with three officers who definitely support Walker and did not think there was a problem between her and Link.

7 On Your Side attempted to contact both parties and we haven't heard back.

We contacted community organizer Traci Fant who is active in the community as someone who attempts to stop bullying and bring awareness to the subject. Fant said adult bullying happens all over the Upstate.

“Usually it’s a couple of people who gang up on one person and it’s usually women just like girls in high school. In the work place its women who are intimidated or jealous in some type of way,” said Fant.

Her organization Think2XTwice. org works to stop bullying by going into schools and connecting victims with local resources. There is also a forum on the website where people can discuss their experiences and how they were able to resolve them.

Fant also creates videos to educate youth on bullying and parents on how to recognize if their children are bullied.

Recently she’s worked with an adult who took a coworker to court because she was ganged up on. Another quit her job because it got so bad.

7 On Your Side asked Dr. Roger Rhoades, a Greenville Therapist what impact bullying has on someone’s life?

“There have been people who have taken their lives because it got so bad. The biggest thing you see is pervasive depression people who are bullied they get depressed to a point they can’t come out of it,” said Rhoades.

Experts say reporting the problem is the first step to making it stop. Rhoades said there needs to be an outlet where the person being bullied can go to receive help. Any work place should have a place to report and resolve these issues.

Rhoades also said he sees bullying in marriages as well. He said it often begins with one party belittling the other and often the behavior isn't evident right away.

Rhoades said people who are being bullied may try to avoid the source of harassment or deny it if they feel they have no support.

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