USA officer suspended without pay after citing student with empty gun holster


    MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) A University of South Alabama police officer was suspended for 5 days without pay Friday.

    This comes after he cited a student for wearing an empty gun holster on campus.

    D.J. Parten's empty holster caused a slight stir on USA's campus Wednesday; A stir he caught on camera.

    Officer: "You've been a student since 2014 you know there is a no weapons policy then you want to push it."

    "I was pretty upset I felt like they were trying to stop me from protesting and stop me from exercising my first amendment rights," Parten said.

    Parten is the president of the "Students for Concealed Carry" group.

    He says this week they held an empty holster protest.

    "We walk around with an empty holster and it's to demonstrate that fact they we're defenseless here on campus," he said.

    "We shouldn't be punished for not being able to carry while bandits and bad people are going to do it either way," USA Sophomore Caleb Barlow said.

    But that demonstration took a turn when campus police responded to the student center, after they say they got a call about a firearm.

    Officer "So I'm going to ask you one more time, Where's the weapon?"

    D.J. "I don't have it, it's at home."

    No gun was present but officers cited Parten for violating the student code of conduct, by engaging in activities that threaten the safety of the campus community.

    The school later issued a statement that said in part, upon further investigation they determined the citation shouldn't have been issued and it has been rescinded.

    Parten says he also got an apology from the officers.

    "The chief of police actually called me and we met today with the officers and they all apologized for the way things happened," Parten said.

    In a statement the school said the suspended officer is David Turppa.

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