Escaped Prisoner In Newton County Sparks Internal Investigation At Sheriff’s Department

An escaped prisoner in Newton County, Georgia has led to an internal investigation within the sheriff’s department after a week-long manhunt ended with the inmate’s capture in Wake County, North Carolina. Kendrick Hurst escaped custody on May 4 while being transported from Piedmont Newton Hospital back to the Newton County Detention Center.

The Newton County Sheriff’s Department released a statement saying, “An ongoing internal investigation is examining Hurst’s escape to determine who aided him and whether proper policies were followed during his transport.” The escape and subsequent manhunt have raised questions about the department’s competence and transparency under the leadership of Sheriff Ezell Brown who is seeking a fifth term in office.

According to reports from Fox 5, law enforcement officials came close to capturing Hurst several times including one instance where deputies were reportedly just seven feet away from the escaped inmate. The department faced criticism for its handling of the situation with residents in the area experiencing sleepless nights and heightened vigilance due to the heavy police presence and helicopter searches.

The sheriff’s department released a statement on Wednesday defending the actions of its officers citing “challenging conditions” and the decision not to release dogs when Hurst signaled a willingness to surrender. The department emphasized its dedication to “maintaining the highest standards of professionalism and accountability in all our operations.”

However, the department’s lack of transparency during the manhunt including turning off comments on social media posts and editing older posts while adding new ones that painted the department in a more positive light has drawn criticism from the public. Sheriff Brown has been notably absent throughout the ordeal making no statements regarding the escape or the department’s efforts to recapture Hurst.

The escaped prisoner situation has turned into a public relations nightmare for the Newton County Sheriff’s Department with memes circulating on social media mocking the department’s efforts. As the internal investigation continues, the public awaits answers and accountability from their elected officials.