Arkansas State Police Lieutenant Suspended After Excessive Force Investigation

Lt. Scott Pillow

JONESBORO, AR – “I probably shouldn’t have done it,” an Arkansas State Police lieutenant said during an interview regarding allegations of excessive force.

The investigation stemmed from a Jonesboro man’s complaint that he was unfairly slammed against a police cruiser by Lt. Scott Pillow in July 2017.

The investigation made its way to the Office of Professional Standard.

Arkansas State Police’s Command Staff Review Board reviewed the complaint, evidence, and interviews. In the end, the board unanimously agreed the complaint filed against Scott Pillow was founded.

According to a disciplinary agreement obtained by Region 8 News, Lt. Pillow agreed to a five-day suspension without pay.

The agreement said Pillow violated several Arkansas State Police policies including use of force.

Region 8 News also obtained transcripts of interviews conducted during the investigation and the investigative summary.

The incident stemmed from an incident involving a separate Arkansas State Police trooper.

Gary Perry’s vehicle and license plate number matched the description of a pickup truck that intentionally backed into an Arkansas State Police trooper’s vehicle in a pursuit.

Several officers from the Jonesboro Police Department and Arkansas State Police responded to Perry’s home. Perry was placed in handcuffs and led to a police cruiser.

During the incident, Perry said Pillow slammed him against the vehicle while shouting expletives at him.

According to a transcript from Pillow’s interview, the ASP lieutenant said, “I don’t think I slammed him that hard against the car. I know I didn’t hurt him. He had no injuries.”

“Does anybody, suspect or not, guilty or innocent, whatever they may be, deserve to get slammed up against a state police vehicle?” the interviewer asked Pillow.

“Probably not,” he responded, according to the transcripts. “I probably shouldn’t have done it.”

Pillow told investigators he let the stress of the Patrick Weatherford homicide investigation get to him.

“I’d put in 196 hours dealing with people over there who were less than cooperative. We were having to treat them like dogs, to be honest with you, to get anything out of them,” Pillow said in the interview. “My patience was thin with people at that point.”

After placing Perry in handcuffs, he was taken to Troop C headquarters in Jonesboro where he was interviewed.

While there, Pillow watched the video of the original police chase. According to the investigative summary, Pillow “knew right off the bat, this is not, this is not our truck and this is not our guy.” Pillow asked another trooper to take Perry home in an unmarked vehicle and “give his daughter a teddy bear to ‘make this bad situation better.'”

The documents Region 8 News obtained did not say when Pillow served his suspension.

In 2014, Pillow was demoted for violating state policy.