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Cumming PD investigating complaint against officer alleging violation of rights
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The City of Cumming Police Department has opened an investigation into one of its own officers, following reports that a woman’s rights were violated when she was detained and handcuffed by officers on Friday night. 

On Wednesday, Chief David Marsh of the Cumming Police Department, confirmed that the department had opened an internal affairs investigation into an officer, whom they would not name, based on a complaint that was brought forward from a member of the community.

“On Nov. 19, 2019, Ms. Ashland Nicole sent me a formal complaint via email alleging that a City of Cumming police officer violated her civil and constitutional rights when she was detained as part of a hit and run investigation that happened on Friday,” Marsh said in a press release. “As the Police Chief for the City of Cumming Police Department, I take these kinds of complaints very seriously.”

Marsh said that the complaint related to an incident that occurred on Friday, Nov. 15, when officers responded to a two-car wreck on Market Place Boulevard just east of Buford Dam Road. 

After officers arrived at the site of the wreck they were told that three occupants from one of the vehicles involved had fled on foot following the collision, taking the vehicle’s license plate, and had been seen throwing bags into dumpsters and bushes in the area before fleeing the scene. 

Two of the suspects were eventually taken into custody, according to Marsh, and a small amount of drugs was allegedly discovered in the suspect’s vehicle, but so far investigators have been unable to determine why the individuals fled the scene. 

Citing the ongoing investigation, Marsh said that he could not release any details of the officer complaint or how it related to the wreck investigation. 

But following the incident, the complainant Nicole, took to the public Facebook group, “Forsyth County Community Views” stating that as she walked to her vehicle in the parking lot of the Old Navy store on Market Place Boulevard at about 6 p.m. on Friday night, she was allegedly approached by a City of Cumming Police, placed into handcuffs and detained. 

Nicole’s post stated that she was questioned about an accident that had occurred, alleging that for half an hour neither the officer that detained her, nor a lieutenant with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office would verify that she had been in a nearby Best Buy for the prior hour. 

“About 30 minutes later when all had been verified I was let go, a little bruised, in pain and still confused on HOW & WHY this happened,” her post read. 

Nicole said in the post that she was confused how a citizen with an alibi, walking to their car, could be accused of being involved in a hit and run wreck where both vehicles were left at the scene. 

“More importantly why did Forsyth County and City of Cumming Police feel it was OK to manhandle me, and embarrass the crap out of me, and not even have the decency to apologize,” her post read.

In a statement to the Forsyth County News on Wednesday, Nicole said that she has retained legal counsel and could not make any comments on the Nov. 15 incident. 

According to Marsh, the officer named in the complaint has not been placed on administrative leave. The investigation into the charges made in the complaint will be handled internally by a City of Cumming Police Department investigator, he said. 

The FCN has filed open records requests for body camera footage of the incident and the complaint that was filed against the Cumming Police Officer, in a response sent by Marsh on Wednesday, that request was denied.