TPD GRADUATION (copy)

Wayne Brown salutes during his graduation from the Tulsa Police Department Academy on Aug. 2. Brown was fired the next month after the department learned of his past social media posts. He has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit alleging that his termination was a violation of his First and 14th amendment rights. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World file

A Tulsa police officer who was fired last month has been hired as a detention officer with the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office.

Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton said Wayne Brown’s first day at the Rogers County jail was Tuesday.

Walton said Brown reached out to him to apply for an opening shortly after his firing from the Tulsa Police Department. Brown was chosen as the “hands down” pick by a committee over two other candidates for the detention officer position, which Walton said is the office’s entry level position with rare exception.

“That wasn’t a favor; he’s earned his job position to this point,” Walton said. “He’s got it all to prove.”

Brown was fired from TPD on Sept. 4 after the department received complaints about his past Facebook posts in support of waterboarding, anti-government and anti-Islamic sentiments. He had graduated from the Tulsa Police Academy in August.

Tulsa Police Sgt. Shane Tuell said in a statement to the Tulsa World after Brown’s firing that Chief Chuck Jordan “immediately ordered Internal Affairs to open an investigation, and within 1 hour and 15 minutes of receiving the complaint, (Brown) was terminated.”

Walton said Brown’s firing after the department received complaints was an “example of spineless, coward leadership.” He compared Brown’s firing to how he felt the Tulsa Police Department treated former officer Betty Shelby.

In May 2017, Shelby was acquitted by a jury in the shooting death of Terence Crutcher. That summer, Shelby resigned from TPD and was hired as a reserve deputy in Rogers County that August.

“I certainly believe that the elected leadership and appointed leadership, and by that I’m talking about the Mayor’s Office and the police, listen to what may be just one individual, but at the most a small group of individuals that yell and scream all the time with no merit,” Walton said. “They listen to them and follow their commands much like they did when they tried to stick Betty Shelby’s head under the train.”

Tulsa police had not returned a request for comment on this story as of Tuesday evening. The internal investigation concerning Brown’s recruitment to the department was reportedly ongoing as of last week.

Walton said he considered Brown’s posts political in nature and so long as no crime had been committed, it isn’t of his concern. Brown “doesn’t have a racist bone in his body,” Walton said, adding that his office made sure of that in researching Brown.

“Tulsa was so proud of the fact that they had him fired in an hour and 15 minutes … that they learned of whatever policy he violated before he was fired,” Walton said. “I promise we spent a lot more than an hour and 15 minutes looking into his background to see if we could find anything that added merit to that.

“And once again, in my opinion, we sure didn’t, or he wouldn’t be working here today.”

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Stetson Payne

918-732-8135

stetson.payne

@tulsaworld.com

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Staff Writer

Stetson covers breaking news, general assignment and other stories. He previously worked at the Enterprise-Journal in Mississippi. He is from Broken Arrow and graduated with a journalism degree from Oklahoma State University. Phone: 918-581-8466

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