Police chief addresses ‘criminal investigation’ into recruit’s death

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 6:21 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A Northeast Arkansas police chief is looking into the death of a recruit.

On Tuesday, Aug. 2, Arkansas State Police said they are conducting a “criminal investigation” into the death of Jonesboro police officer Vincent Parks after he died during training at the state academy.

According to a statement from ASP, they found evidence they considered “contrary” to the original statements.

Since the investigation began shortly after Parks’ death, Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott said he has been searching for answers.

“From the time we were notified of this incident and things started to unfold, I just asked the state to provide me a comprehensive report of the events,” he explained.

ASP said Parks had exhibited symptoms of being in medical distress shortly after 1 p.m., Sunday, July 17, before any training exercises had begun.

Although Chief Elliott said “freak accidents” like this happen all the time, he added it’s important to get all the facts straight so other departments can look at the training process.

“We just want to make sure if there is something procedurally that needs to be changed at the academy, then that’s addressed,” he said. “Right now, we don’t know what happened just yet.”

Elliott emphasized it is his duty as chief to figure out what happened, not just for his department, but so Parks’ family can have some closure.

“They are waiting for the same answers, and they deserve those answers, and I am going to ensure they get those answers,” he said.

Region 8 News will continue to provide more details as ASP continues its investigation.

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