911 Caller Speaks Out On Decision of EPD Merit Commission

Consider today "The Day After."

After a nearly 13 hour hearing Thursday, the Evansville Police Merit Commission decided to not terminate two officers and demote a sergeant in a case of alleged misconduct.

Nearly four months of questions and four cops with their careers on the line.

All triggered by a man who made a split decision.

"Knowing what you know now and everything that's been involved with this specific case would you call 911 if the same thing happened today?"
"Nope."

William Higgs is the only witness to an event most of us have only seen from this police body camera:

The arrest of Mark Healy for the burglary of a garage at Higgs' home on Florida Street.

The arresting officer pricked by a needle in Healy's pocket.

After months of investigation into the force used, and alleged cover up, the Evansville Police Merit Commission spent half of Thursday discussing the conduct of the three officers and sergeant involved in Healy's arrest.

EPD Chief Billy Bolin recommended Officers Nick Henderson, Mark DeCamps and Marcus Craig be fired and Sgt. Kyle Kassel be demoted.  

But the Merit Commission decided otherwise.

While Officer Craig's attorney requested a continuance, Officers Henderson and DeCamps will not be fired and Sgt. Kassel will be reinstated to full pay and will not face demotion.

Higgs says this is the right decision, and now, he just wishes he hadn't called them to his home on that October night.

"I'm sorry I called them," says Higgs. "And I'm sorry they got in so much trouble. I can't control what they said to him. You can't possibly control what somebody says to somebody."

And that somebody, Mark Healy, still sits in the Vanderburgh County Jail.

Eyewitness News interviewed Healy last December.

Healy told us the actions of the officers that night were not necessary.

Healy said, "They need some kind of reprimand too. I am, I'm here. "

Eyewitness News reached out to Healy this morning for his reaction on the EPD Merit Commissions Decision.

He declined the opportunity to speak with us a second time.

As for Higgs, he's happy the Merit Commission has come to a final decision.

"You wouldn't want to be suspended," says Higgs. "I know you wouldn't want to be fired regardless of your actions. You can't control your actions, you know, especially in the spur of the moment kind of thing, you know what I'm saying?"

Meanwhile, EPD sent out a statement on the final decision from Police Merit Commision.

It states:

"Chief Bolin presented his findings and recommendations to the Merit Commission. As in each case that comes before them, the commission is the final authority on disciplinary matters. We appreciate their work in this matter and respect their decisions. Sgt. Kassel, Officer Henderson, and Officer DeCamps will return to duty in the coming days."


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