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AZ police board reviews sergeant’s conduct after ABC15 investigation

 Sgt. Jeffrey Overton.png
Posted at 6:17 PM, Dec 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-27 21:07:32-05

GLOBE, AZ — A Globe police sergeant, who tasered a mentally ill woman in her home, now faces the state’s police disciplinary board for prior allegations of misconduct, which were brought to light by an ABC15 Investigation.

Globe officers forced their way into Memory Burns' apartment in September 2020 for a report of possible domestic violence.

Burns, who has schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, had committed no crime and presented no threat that night. Sgt. Jeffrey Overton ended up tasering the woman in her own bedroom.

When the ABC15 Investigators dug deeper, we found Overton had a history of misconduct and discipline from a prior job at the Pinetop-Lakeside Police Department. In 2019, he quit in lieu of firing after an internal investigation found six policy violations relating to an incident when Overton reported someone shot at his patrol car.

Globe’s police chief said he was unaware of this incident when he hired Overton.

After seeing ABC15's reports about Sgt. Overton in March and April, the Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training Board promised to investigate whether Overton has violated the state’s police officer certification rules.

During a meeting in November, the board talked about both the Globe taser incident and the incident that lead to his departure from the Pinetop-Lakeside department.

“During May of 2019, Sgt. Overton had failed to assist officers responding to his report of someone shooting a firearm at him, followed by his failure to be truthful during his background investigation by the Globe Police Department involving medical issues,” said AZPOST compliance specialist Steve Jacobs.

The board decided to initiate proceedings on the allegations of failure to assist officers and failure to be truthful, but not the tasering incident. Overton had previously been suspended for two days by the Globe Police Department for violating policy during the tasering.

According to AZPOST, Overton has asked for a hearing with an administrative law judge.

At a future meeting, the AZPOST Board will vote whether Overton should have his certification, which allows him to work as a police officer, suspended or revoked. The board could also take no action against him.

Globe’s police chief and Sgt. Overton did not respond to emails seeking comment.

Memory Burns’ family has filed a lawsuit claiming the officers used excessive force and violated her constitutional rights.

Got a news tip? Email ABC15 Investigator Melissa Blasius at Melissa.Blasius@abc15.com and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.