NEWTON, N.C. — A police officer who allegedly drove past a stopped school bus last month will not be charged.
According to the Hickory Daily Record, the bus driver and another witness said they saw the Newton police car pass the bus while a student in a wheelchair was being dropped off on April 13. They said that the car did not have its lights or siren on.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol investigated the incident, and then it was reviewed by District Attorney Jay Gaither. Gaither’s office released a statement saying its opinion was that “the weight of the evidence is insufficient to prove the elements necessary to warrant charges being filed. … Seven individuals were questioned, and the information that they provided created a reasonable doubt that a motor vehicle traffic violation had occurred.”
Since no charges were filed, the name of the officer was not released. But Newton Police Chief Don Brown told the Daily Record that his department had “dealt with it appropriately internally.”
Brown also said he hoped that the matter would raise awareness — among the police and the public — of school bus safety laws.