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Breaking The Law Enforcement Officer Code Of Silence

Image of Reginald Newberne, a former North Carolina State Trooper, against a brick wall.
Laura Pellicer
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A former North Carolina State trooper won a $3.75 million verdict in a long-running whistleblower case. State trooper Reginald Newberne claims that in 2000, a fellow officer told Newberne he injured his hand while punching a teen suspect. Newberne says he was hesitant about filling out an official report, but he later offered a detailed account of the incident to his superiors. Newberne was subsequently fired from his position in the Highway Patrol for a violation of the “truthfulness directive”.
 

A Wake County jury awarded Newberne the verdict for the department’s violation of whistleblower protection laws. Host Frank Stasio talks with Newberne about the challenges of speaking out as a law enforcement officer and how being a whistleblower has affected his life.

Laura Pellicer is a digital reporter with WUNC’s small but intrepid digital news team.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.