Trooper Who Arrested Photographer Removed from Enforcement Duty

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A state trooper who arrested a news photographer at the scene of a house fire in Maumelle has been removed from enforcement duty and assigned to office work at the agency's headquarters.  The agency announced the move today.

Trooper Thomas Weindruch cited Stephens Media photographer Bill Lawson on December 10, prompting Lawson to file a complaint with the state police.  Lawson is charged with misdemeanor obstructing governmental operations.

A state police news release today says agency director Colonel Winford Phillips has ordered Weindruch not to wear his department uniform, "nor should he make any attempt to act in the capacity of a law enforcement officer."

The release says the reassignment will last for the duration of an internal affairs investigation into Lawson's complaint that Weindruch exhibited inappropriate and hostile behavior.

State police have turned over documents and video from the incident to prosecutor Larry Jegley for any action on the misdemeanor charge.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)