NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - On Wednesday, Norfolk's Acting Police Chief sat down with WAVY News 10's Andy Fox to discuss the death of Norfolk Police Recruit John Kohn. Kohn died in December following aggressive defensive tactics training at the Norfolk Police Academy.
For the first time she spoke about what became of Instructor Leldon Sapp who is seen on tape beating Kohn in the head during training. She said, "He continues to be one of our instructors...following new procedures of not striking in the head." When asked if he was disciplined Chamberlin said, "There is nothing to be disciplined for."
Acting Chief Sharon Chamberlin is trying to get the top job, and called us in to set the record straight. She refuted statements made by outgoing Chief Bruce Marquis that she failed to keep him adequately informed about the incidents leading to Kohn's death.
"As we received information we forwarded it to the Chief," Marquis said during a news conference in January, "I think someone or someone's on my staff should have advised me more thoroughly than I was."
Chamberlin responded, "We consistently provided that information to the Chief as it became available."
We asked Chamberlin why she did not see the video of Instructor Leldon Sapp repeatedly striking Kohn's head that left him unconscious on the floor until January 13, when it aired on WAVY-TV 10. She would only say, "We were briefed on that and we were waiting for the end of that investigation."
Chamberlin claims that on December 20, she and Chief Marquis both attended a detailed briefing in which they were both told Kohn was struck in the head. Chamberlin claims she and Marquis also discussed the head strikes on December 21 before Marquis put out a news release on Kohn's death where he wrote, "What we do know is that two recruits accidentally collided while moving through the doors of the training area." There is no mention of Kohn receiving head strikes by Instructor Leldon Sapp that left Kohn unconscious on the floor.
WAVY.com also obtained an email on December 22 from Chamberlin to Captain Paul Galligan asking, "Where was Kohn hit?" Galligan emails back, "In the head."
We asked Chamberlin, "If you knew on December 20 that Kohn was hit in the head, why do you need to ask Galligan on December 22 where he was hit?"
Chamberlin responded, "Again, we were working on a report. A bulleted report that had to be forwarded to the Chief of Police."
We tried to get her to be more specific, but that's all she would say.
A student at Old Dominion University was arrested Thursday and charged with filing a false report. Police say he lied about being robbed.
Police and fire crews are investigating a report of items found in a motel room consistent with manufacturing narcotics Friday.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory toured the Bonner Bridge area Friday morning after officials shut it down due to safety concerns.